Fruity Spelt & Brazil Nut Loaf

Posted on March 24, 2011


Ever since I was little, I’ve loved a slice of fruit bread. My mum used to buy Soreen, a dense, malty fruit bread that was almost mouldable. Spread with jam or warmed slightly and eaten on it’s own, it was the perfect afternoon snack.

Over the years, I’ve experimented regularly with my own fruit-breads from tea loaves to banana breads. I’m always keen to add a little of this and a pinch of that to create new flavours and textures. I love to combine nuts, spices, fresh fruits, dried fruits and candied fruits with a moist dough, it’s sweet spicy smells warming up the house as it bakes and rises.

I find that fruit breads are easier, more versatile and last longer than cake. Far easier to take a thick slice of fruit bread with you on an afternoon walk than a slice of Victoria Sponge and slightly more virtuous too.

So, this recipe is another spin on the fruit bread. This time using dried prunes, which in the context of this dish just taste like giant, moist raisins. I’ve also given the bread a nutty taste using chunks of brazil nut and spelt flour. Spelt flour is available in most large supermarkets (I use the Dove Farm brand), but if you can’t get hold of it just substitute for wholemeal.

I’ve left the spices out of this one, as my fruit breads taste the same if I’m not careful! Instead, I’ve added a healthy dose of lemon zest which perks it up nicely.

Though I will admit to indulging in a greedy slice, straight from the oven when I made this, I actually think it’s best served cold, with a thin smear of butter and jam and a mug of tea. The perfect weekend ‘elevenses’ treat with the papers!

Fruity Spelt & Brazil Nut Loaf

1 sachet fast-action dried yeast (7g), 3 tbsp honey, 1 tbsp lemon zest, 250g spelt flour, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tbsp vegetable oil, 125g brazil nuts (roughly chopped), 125g dried prunes (roughly chopped)

Place yeast, honey and 200ml warm water in a bowl. Leave for 3 minutes. Add yeast mixture to flour, zest and salt. Knead. Add oil and knead again. Add nuts and prunes and knead again. Leave mixture covered in a warm place for 1hr. Tip onto a floured surface and knead again, ensuring fruit and nuts are evenly distributed. Shape into a loaf and place in a lined 500g loaf tin. Leave for 1 hr until risen slightly. Bake in a pre-heated oven (200c/GM6) for 25-30 minutes until the crust is a deep, golden brown. Cool before slicing.

Enjoy eating,

Helen x