Apricot and Earl Grey Tea Fruit Loaf

Mr_Punchy's picture

So, I've finally put together a fruit loaf with Earl Grey tea in it. It's an Apricot and Earl Grey Fruit Loaf, and I'm eating it right now.  It's delicious!  Beautiful soft texture with bursts of fruity sweetness and the occasional bergamot explosion of the Earl Grey tea.  I based this loaf around SourDoms Basic Fruit Bread, so thank you Dom for such a great loaf.  Here it is:

The Dough: 
1Tbs Earl Grey Tea
Organic White Flour
Starter (mine is 100% hyrdration with 40% wholemeal and 60% white.)
Maple Syrup
Dried Apricots (sliced)

1. Start by boiling the water and pouring over the tea.  Leave to infuse and cool a little.

2. Put into the mixing bowl the flour, salt and cinnamon.

3. Pour the warm tea (including the leaves) in with the flour and start mixing.

4. Add the starter and maple syrup and mix until it comes together.  Leave for ten minutes.

5. Knead well

6. First fermentation - I left mine in my proving box for 3 hours at 25C.

7. Knead the fruit into the dough.

8. Shape and into the tin or banneton then into the fridge overnight.

9. Next morning, preheat oven 230C.

10. Pull the loaf straight out of the fridge, turn it out from the banneton, slash and put straight into the oven on a tray or pizza stone.

11. Steam the oven with water spray then bake 10 minutes at 230C then turn down to 180C and bake for a further 30 minutes.

12. Pull it out of the oven, rest to cool and enjoy with lashings of butter!!!

15 users have voted.


Mr_Punchy's picture
Mr_Punchy 2009 October 15

The one thing I'm going to change with this loaf is to follow sourdoms proving and kneading method next time to try and get a more open crumb.  But my oh my it's delicious!!!  And the fruit is so soft and moist, virtually rehydrated as it has absorbed some of the moister out of the dough by proving it overnight in the fridge.

Karniecoops's picture
Karniecoops 2009 October 16

Hi Mr P,

I make Dom's fruit loaf every weekend (give or take) and his proving and kneading technique is great.  I've atually started doing that method with your orange spiced loaf as well.  In fact I have one of yours in the oven, and one sitting on the bench waiting for its turn - sadly I only have a small oven.  I always get a nice relatively open crumb.  Give it a whirl, you won't be disappointed. K.

Mr_Punchy's picture
Mr_Punchy 2009 October 16

thanks karnie, I definately will give it a shot.  I'll post to show you the results.  I'd love to see the results of your orange loaf if ya have time to post some pics up too!


Johnny's picture
Johnny 2009 October 16

 Now if I could just get my hands on some nice earl grey tea..In the meantime your orange idea has got me thinking and trying something new. If it works out I'll post some pics..

Mr_Punchy's picture
Mr_Punchy 2009 October 17

Johhny, in reply to your "if I could just get my hands on some nice earl grey tea" I must embarassingly admit that I have used Twinings earl grey for this recipe.  I know I know, it has bergamot "flavour" in it, but it worked really well for this recipe, truly.  

Oh well...


*slips away into another room to drink his 'earl grey' immitation tea*

Johnny's picture
Johnny 2009 October 19

They look great K... scrumptious. I'm on a flexiday today so I might make a fruit loaf for my team for morning tea tomorrow. I haven't got any earl grey but I could try some other fancy tea I was given the other day. How does Japanese Lime (Green tea with daisies, lemon & lime peel) sound?

BTW to insert a pic just click the picture icon and paste in the url of the photo ..

like this..


rossnroller 2009 October 19

I haven't any direct experience using tea in bread, Johnny, but one of the experimental bakers I most respect on The Fresh Loaf says that green tea keeps cakes and breads moist...apparently it's well known and widely used as a moisture agent in Chinese baking...TeckPoh?

Anyway, just passing on some info I thought might be relevant.



Johnny's picture
Johnny 2009 October 19

Thanks for the info Ross :)

I did add the green tea but I added it as an after thought when the dough had already been mixed and in the fridge for an hour or so. I was using a high hydration formula with a 100g orange and 50g multi-grain soaker added and so my dough was way wet already. I steeped a tablespoon of the tea in 60g of boiling water and added the same weight in extra flour and a bit of starter I had left over. I was trying not to make my dough any wetter but I wanted the tea liquid for flavour. I let this sit for a while before kneading it into my dough and back into the fridge for 2 hours. Just took it out at 7:00 pm to begin bulk fermentation. I think I may have goofed on this one because the dough is very wet, sticky, slack and hard to handle. Just did my first fold on a well floured bench and had great difficulty. Oh well we'll see how we go....not sure if I needed any extra moisture agent..ha ha


Johnny's picture
Johnny 2009 October 21

Tea in bread... who'd have thought it would taste so good.

Well I managed to form 2 loaves last night and baked them this morning before work. I think I must have over-proved them because they kinda collapsed as soon as they went in the oven and never recovered. But I was very pleasantly surprised with the end result in terms of texture and fantastic depth of flavours. 

I admit I was a bit sceptical about adding tea into my dough and I have some adjusting to do to this formula to get it working exactly how I want but I love it. I took one loaf to work and my colleagues loved it as well. It got gobbled up in no time. Lucky I had the other loaf at home for a crumb shot.

This is the crumb shot from the second loaf which I had to pull out of the oven a few minutes early as I was running late for work. Just a bit doughy on top under the seeds. But the taste was really great with the orange bits, the sharp Green Tea with lemon & lime, plus the sweet bursts from the sultanas. It is so moist this bread that I think it will keep really well.

Next time I will adjust the hydration and add a few more sultanas and watch proving times more carefully.

This bread rocks Mr P.. thank you so much for sharing this idea


Karniecoops's picture
Karniecoops 2009 October 21

Looks great Johnny!  The combo of the orange with lemon/lime from the tea sounds fab - can't quite imagine the green tea taste, but it looks FAB.


Mr_Punchy's picture
Mr_Punchy 2009 October 21

Nice work Johnny!  It's so great when an idea gets grabbed onto and run with!  I love seeing all the results, very exciting.  The green tea w lime sounds like a great idea.   

ben_cooper's picture
ben_cooper 2009 October 22

I tried the earl grey fruit loaf a few years back, but i enfused the tea by using the tea water in a levain and combined it with a wholemeal culture @ mixing to make the 40% ,then used a euro white flour for balance to get the delecate levain feel into the loaf without it being to heavy, i went for the currant and saltana mix with a chunky peach compote. i didnt add any sweetners as the peach was done in the compote and no spices as i didnt want any extra flavours conflicting with the tea.    


its interesting to see the comparison, nice work!  ide like to give it another go with the stoneground flour we are getting at work, but times an issue =) 

Mr_Punchy's picture
Mr_Punchy 2009 October 23

Hey Ben, thanks for the tips.  The peach looks awesome.  It's funny I was thinking i'd come up with something new, only to realise that it's been done before, in fact years before!  The tea in the loaf I cooked included the tea leaves, and really added some strong bergamot flavours to the loaf, but I'm having continual trouble getting my crumb looking as amazing as your example.  Guess being a home/hobbyist bread-maker (not willing to use the word baker in there!!!) for only 2 months is part of the issue here!  Practice, practice, practice...  

I've just bought some Powlett Hill stoneground sifted flour that I'm looking forward to sinking my kneads into.  A baker friend, Ken Hurcott, recommended it to me years ago and I've just found out where I can get it down here in Warrnambool.  Very excited to see the difference. 

If ya manage to get time to give it a go with the stoneground I'd love to see the results.




Johnny's picture
Johnny 2009 October 24

 Tried this one again today. I didn't have any oranges so I used a sweet mandarin. Still using the Lemon-Lime Japanese Green Tea with mix of bakers, wholemeal and OO flour.  I think this one came out even better than the first. Very moist soft crumb with complex fantastic taste...


Karniecoops's picture
Karniecoops 2009 October 24

......... that looks FAB Johnny!  If I wasn't knee deep making 2 different types of ciabatta I'd be VERY jealous!  No fruit bread for me this weekend, so i'll have to imagine how good this tastes :o)


Mr_Punchy's picture
Mr_Punchy 2009 October 24

That looks awesome!  So you've gone and combined the two loaves?  The blended fruit and the tea.  Wish I could have a taste (where do you live?!!!)  I'm back to the basics this week.  Trying to improve my crumb, so going the Pane Francese.  Back on the fruit next weekend me thinketh.  So jealous of your tea fruit loaf though.  

lilybythewaters 2009 November 14

 So, when you include the tea leaves into your bread recipe- do you use a nice quality loose leaf tea or do you just take apart a packet of tea and use the finer "sawdust" like leaves?

I used to work in a tea room so I mostly have loose leaf teas around the house- but want to be sure that is what you meant since you might end up with some larger bits of tea in the bread- which could be good, but I wasn't quite sure...

Mr_Punchy's picture
Mr_Punchy 2009 November 14

yeah, that's right, i use whole loose leaf tea leaves.  I've got some Earl Grey leaves that are long and wispy that worked really well.  They seem to soften in the dough too with little bursts of flavour in the bread.  I tend not to buy tea bags, just loose leaf.  Let me know how it goes!


Mr P.


mondomama 2010 January 5

Lovely bread - thanks for posting the recipe. I subbed orange for the apricots & blue mountain tea for the earl grey, & I think this is divine! I used a different kneading technique for an open crumb & seeing as I've only just really started making bread like this, I am pleased with the result.  

Can't work out how to add an image  . help!

Maedi's picture
Maedi 2010 January 5

Can't work out how to add an image  . help!

Hi Mondomama, soon it will be very easy to upload photos in comments (It is currently easy when creating a blog, recipe of forum topic). For now you may upload photos to the Gallery section of the website by clicking the My Album link in the top right of the website (when logged in). Or send the photo in an email to me and I'll put it up for you.

Johnny's picture
Johnny 2010 January 7

 I'm glad you had Maedi post your photos because your bread looks really moist and delicious. I have made Mr P's tea bread a few times now and it always makes for a wonderful flavour in the bread.

I just got back from spending Christmas in my hometown and cooked up some bread for the family Christmas lunch. I decided to make a variation of Panmarino (That's the boule - Italian rosemary bread) and add the nice Lemon-Lime Japanese Green Tea leaves I have been using to the dough. The combination of the rosemary and green tea & lemon was great and everyone was coming back for more of this one.

Thanks again Mr P for posting this idea.

Hey Mondomama, you should be pleased, excellent bread for someone just starting to make bread this way.

 I had to cook these in my son's oven which does not shut properly. Still they came out ok. Sorry no crumb shots... my family think I'm weird enough as it is and taking photos of my bread at the family Christmas dinner...well I'm sure you know what I mean

Mr_Punchy's picture
Mr_Punchy 2010 May 20

Hey all, it's been a while since i've found myself here, but it's wonderful to see so many versions of the fruit/tea bread.  They all look amazing, think I might give it another go.  I've been busy reading and researching bread baking since I was last here, in an attempt to better understand and bake.  The Bread Baker's Apprentice is an amazing book, thanks for all for suggesting it in these forums.  As is The Bread Builders.  Such good information.  I really feel like I'm getting a handle on the art of bread baking and building.  I have hatched plans to construct a woodfired Hearth oven too, which i am SO excited about.  

You've all inspired me to go and upload some photos of recent loaves.  But alas, it's late and I must go to bed.  Until next time all.


Mister P.

Spike 2014 January 13

Really great recipe. I used malt as well as cinnamon, with cranberry and apricots. Worked really well. Just wanted to say Thanks.

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