I made this bread to go with some of the leftover Christmas cheese. Which I had over-bought on purpose, just so that I would have plenty leftover… Not only is this bread delicious with cheese, it is also a wonderful fruit bread on its own and is perfect toasted in the morning with a little butter. In fact I need to make some more as the bread is already gone but I still have plenty of cheese tucked away…
I followed a Paul Hollywood recipe and the only real changes I made were in using spelt wholemeal instead of wheat wholemeal, fresh yeast instead of instant dried (I have given the amount of instant dried needed below but I used 15g fresh yeast) and only letting it rise twice, instead of giving it three rises as per the recipe. So if any of those things made a difference it didn’t cause a problem. I’m sure if you wanted to substitute the rye flour for wholemeal it would be just as good.
300g strong white bread flour
100g rye flour
100g strong wholemeal flour (I used spelt)
10g instant yeast
30g butter, softened
100g sultanas (0r raisins)
80g dates, chopped
100g dried apricots, chopped
Put the flours into a large mixing bowl and add the yeast to one side and the salt to the other.
Add the butter, treacle and most of the water and mix. Add enough water to get a soft dough.
Knead the dough for 5-10 minutes, until smooth and silky.
Place in an oiled bowl, cover and leave to rise for at least an hour, or until doubled in size.
Tip the dough out onto a floured surface and add the sultanas, dates and apricots and knead until they are properly incorporated.
Put the dough back in the bowl, cover and leave to rise for another hour.
Tip the dough out onto a floured surface and shape into a loaf shape. At this point the recipe says to leave for another hour to prove again but I left my dough in the fridge overnight, took it out in the morning and left it for a little while to warm up. Then I just turned it out, shaped it and put it into a tin and put it in the oven, without the third proving.
Heat the oven to 210ºC. Bake for around 35 minutes, or until it sounds hollow when tapped on the base.
Remove from the tin and allow to cool on a wire cooling rack.
Try it with blue cheese or a strong Cheddar. Or without, it’s all good!