Fruit Loaf

farinam's picture

As I mentioned last time, I had a fruit loaf under way.  I partly followed the recipe by SourDom and the Earl Grey Tea variatiion.  A compilation of the result follows.

First up I must say that the result was delicious and got the thumbs up all around, both fresh and toasted (which it does beautifully).

As a general commentary, I followed Dom's method of incorporating the fruit and the result of that shows with the fruit in patches and not evenly distributed though I might have over-interpreted his 'be gentle with shaping'.  I think this also led to the split to the fruit layer and possibly a little less oven spring due to the 'tightness' of the layer beneath. The dough was also slightly on the firm side so possibly a little higher hydration would help.

I think next time I will add a little extra fluid and see if I can incorporate the fruit a little better.

Still, a very satisfying result!



mlucas 2011 March 20

Do you have Hamelman's Bread book? Just wondering because the "sourdough with golden raisins" recipe has turned out beautifully for me many times, and the raisins get incorporated prior to bulk fermentation (but after mixing other ingredients). So they're pretty even throughout the loaf.

It looks like that recipe can be found online here:

I also like the tip to soak the raisins first (I think I weighed them out prior to soaking) so that the ones on the outside don't burn. It also helps keep the dough from getting too dry.

In any case your bread looks wonderful!



farinam's picture
farinam 2011 March 20

Thanks for the input.  I will have a look at the web site you gave.

I have been doing a bit more research of my own and one of my references suggests, as you say, adding the fruit just before bulk fermentation and I have certainly done that in the past with yeasted hot-cross buns - almost time to start thinking about those again, though sourdough based this time, despite the fact that they have been in the supermarkets since the week after Christmas! :(

I wonder about the dredging in flour part of SourDoms recipe - is that supposed to help the fruit 'stick' to the dough?

There is also a suggestion to soak the fruit in warn water for 20 minutes and then drain in a seive overnight.

My intent is to try both mods for my next fruit loaf.

And rest assured that it tastes very well also - I have not long finished a large chunk with breakfast so my next venture into making it again might be not too far off.



SourDom 2011 March 20

 Hi Farinam,


glad you enjoyed the fruit loaf.

I haven't made it for ages - might try again.

My all-sourdough recipe for hot cross buns incorporates the fruit with all of the other ingredients, as well as soaking the fruit overnight while the starter is getting going. It is a cracking recipe (if I do say so myself), and I have just had one of my first batch of HCBs for the year.

I tried the layering of fruit in the original fruit loaf because that seemed to be something that I had seen in a lot of recipes. Thinking about it, I reckon that the reason that professionals sometimes laminate (fold in) soft ingredients is that they are often using fairly heavy duty mixers to knead and mix their dough. If you add in the fruit to the mixer there is a real danger that you will end up with mush in your dough. However, the sort of Dan Lepard style kneading that I prefer (very short kneads interspersed with 10 minute rests for the dough), doesn't have that danger.

I think tossing the fruit in flour is to stop the sticky wet fruit from all falling out - but if you mix it in at an early stage there is no need




farinam's picture
farinam 2011 March 20

Thanks for the feedback Dom and the link to your HCB recipe.  Also I have really appreciated your beginners blogs - really helpful.

All of my references on adding fruit etc suggest only adding it to the last minutes/stages of kneading to avoid the 'mush' effect.  One also suggests that the spices should be added later as well as their presence can apparently affect the yeast particularly when it is getting started (so after autolyse at the earliest).  If you do add it later, it certainly shows the degree of mixing (or otherwise) that is going on in your kneading.  The first time I did it I ended up with some very streaky buns /;-{)}



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