200gms Dried Apricots
65 gms Walnuts - chopped but not too
150ml Cold Assam Tea or any strong
450gms Strong Plain Bread Flour
4 Level Tablsp Soft Brown Sugar
100gms Slightly Salted Butter
(Melted and cooled)
2 Beaten Eggs
1½ Level Teasps Mixed Spice
1½ Level Teasps Cinnamon
2 Heaped Teasps Ginger
¼ Teasp Salt
1 Tablsp Quick acting Dried Yeast.
1 tablsp Sugar
2 Tablsp water
Demerara sugar to sprinkle
Set the oven to 180°C
1. Chop the apricots into approx ¼ inch chunks.
2. Place the sultanas in a bowl and cover with the tea.
3. Sift the flour into a bowl and add the yeast to one side of the bowl and the salt to the other (do not let them touch at this stage otherwise the salt will kill the yeast)
4. In a separate bowl beat together the eggs, milk, melted butter and sugar.
5. Add the spices to the wet mixture.
6. Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in the liquid. If you have an electric mixer do this with the dough hook, otherwise mix together until the dough is soft and leaves the sides of the bowl.
7. Tip out on to a floured surface and knead for a good 5 minutes, stretching the dough.
8. Place into a lightly greased bowl and put to rise until doubled in size. This is a sweet dough and can take 2 hours to reach this stage. Don't be tempted to rush it!
9. Strain the fruit and lightly dry with a clean cloth or piece of kitchen roll.
10. When the dough has proved tip on to a floured surface and knock back until smooth.
11. Add the sultanas, apricots and walnuts and mix in thoroughly and evenly. This can be a bit messy but will incorporate well after a few minutes.
12. Shape the fruit dough into an oblong to fit into a 2lb loaf tin.
13. Place once again to prove until reaching the top of the tin or just over.
14. Bake in the oven for about 40 minutes. Check after 25 minutes and if the top seems to be getting too brown cover with a piece of foil for the remainder of the cooking time. The bread is done when it sounds hollow at tapping the bottom.
15. Make a sugar glaze by simmering 1 tablsp sugar in 2 tablsp water for about 5 minutes.
16. Lightly glaze the top of your loaf while it is still warm and sprinkle with Demerara sugar.
17. Serve with lashings of cold butter, jam or a strong cheddar cheese!
Can be frozen but best eaten with a couple of days.