Cumbrian Christmas Bread
A rich, fruity loaf with Cumbrian roots. Delicious toasted with lots of butter!
30g Mixed Peel
30g dried Cranberries
3 tbsp Rum
MIX FOR THE FERMENT
1x7g sachet Fast Action Dried Yeast
10g Golden Caster Sugar
75g Carr’s Strong White Flour
150ml warm Water
100ml whole Milk
MIX FOR THE DOUGH
400g Carr’s Strong White Flour
75g Golden Caster Sugar
2 tsp Salt
½ tsp Mixed Spice
1 medium free-range Egg
1 tbsp Molasses or Black Treacle
40g melted unsalted Butter
1. Soak the fruit in the rum overnight.
2. Then make the ferment to get the dough working and create a light and textured bread. Sift the flour, yeast and sugar into a bowl and stir in water and milk. Cover with clingfilm and leave to ferment for 30-45 minutes or until it is well risen.
3. For the dough, sift the flour, sugar and salt together in a bowl. Create a well in the dry mixture to add the egg, butter, molasses and the ferment. Combine the ingredients to create a raw dough. Add a little water if the dough is too dry.
4. Knead for 10 minutes by hand or mixer to create a silky dough. Drain the fruit then knead into the dough.
5. Place the dough in an oiled bowl and cover with clingfilm – leave to rise for 2 hours.
6. Preheat the oven to 200°C (Fan 180°C, Gas Mark 6). Shape the dough on a baking tray lined with baking paper into a round loaf shape. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave to prove for another 40 minutes.
7. The dough is ready when you can gently press it and the impression of your finger stays in the dough – if it springs back it needs to prove for a little longer.
8. When ready bake the loaf for 40 minutes. Protect it from getting too brown with a foil shield. Test if it is cooked by tapping the base of the loaf for a hollow drum sound.
Cut and spread with lashings of butter while it is still warm from the oven. It is also wonderful toasted the day after making or even better make a festive bread and butter pud!