Note: This fruit loaf recipe is very versatile. Perfect for toast, sliced thinly and dried in the oven for cheese croutes, used for bread and butter pudding or blended into a crumb to make stuffing. You can also experiment using your favourite dried fruits. If you want to make more than one loaf or increase or decrease the size, we have included bakers’ percentage measurements. These figures are the percentage of each ingredient relative to 100% flour. If you want to use more or less flour, you can adjust the other quantities accordingly.
Start the pre-ferment the day before. In a small bowl, combine the ingredients together by hand to form a wet dough. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate overnight.
To make the dough – activate the yeast by stirring it through the lukewarm water. Place the flour, rye flour, orange purée and salt into the mixing bowl of a stand mixer. Using the dough hook attachment, slowly mix the ingredients together. Add the ferment, along with the water and yeast, and mix to a smooth dough. You may need to add a dash of water to achieve the right consistency (to tell if the dough is ready, separate a small amount and roll it into a ball. Tease it out gently from the centre to create a window. If the dough tears before you can see through the window, it is not fully developed and needs to be mixed for longer).
Once the dough is developed – rest in the bowl for 5 minutes. Add the dried fruits and mix for a further 3 minutes on low, or until the fruit is evenly distributed. Transfer the dough to a bowl brushed with olive oil and cover with cling film. Place in a warm spot for 3 hours.
Once rested, transfer the dough to a flour-dusted bench and, tucking and rounding it, shape it into the form you’d like. Place the dough onto a piece of baking paper, cover with a tea towel and leave for 40 minutes to prove (the loaf is ready to bake when you can lightly press the dough with your finger and it springs back into shape without leaving an indent).
To finish – place your pot or Dutch oven into an oven at to 240°C. Score the top of the dough using a sharp razor blade, so that it opens during the bake. Using the baking paper, lift the bread into the hot pot and cover with the lid. Bake for 28 minutes, then remove the lid and bake uncovered for a further 13-15 minutes, or until golden in colour. Remove the loaf from the Dutch oven and cool for 30 minutes on a wire rack before serving.
82% – 560g premium wheat flour
18% – 120g premium rye flour
24% – 160g whole oranges, blended to a purée
22% – 150g currants
22% – 150g golden raisins
50% – 340ml lukewarm water
2% – 14g fine sea salt
1% – 7g dry yeast
120g premium wheat flour
cast-iron camp oven or large ceramic casserole pot with a lid