I love this traditional fruit loaf. This recipe is my healthier gluten free version which I pack with superberries and keep the sugar to a minimum. Traditionally this is actually a yeasted bread and this makes it easier to create a light loaf full of flavour without the need to add loads of sugar. Use plenty of high quality cinnamon too. I love this one from Lucy Bee which uses proper Ceylon cinnamon and is organic.
If you want to make it yeast free you can swap out the yeast and replace with a couple of tsp of baking powder. If you have time allow the fruit to soak overnight or for a couple of hours to make it wonderfully moist. I use yacon syrup rather than sugar which also acts as a prebiotic supporting the growth of your beneficial bacteria in your gut.
Difficulty – Medium
Time – 15 minutes preparation, 1 hour 30 mins proving and 40-45 minutes cooking
Serves – Makes 1 x 2lb loaf / about 10 slices
What’s good about it?
A delicious fruit tea bread lower in sugar than many traditional versions and gluten free. Use a range of super fruits to provide plenty of flavour, texture, vitamins and minerals. Using goji berries is a great way to boost the overall fibre and they are packed full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals plus protein.
- Place the dried fruit in a bowl and pour over the warm tea. Allow to soak if possible for at least 30 minutes or 1-2 hours.
- Place the flours in a large bowl. Rub in butter or dairy free spread to form breadcrumbs. Scatter over the yeast, salt, spices and mix well.
- Beat together the egg and yacon syrup and add to the flour with the dried fruit and soaking liquid. Beat well with a spoon.
- Cover the bowl and allow the mixture to rise for 1 hour.
- Grease and line a 2lb loaf tin. Spoon the dough into the loaf tin and cover with cling or a clean tea towel. Allow to rise again for a further 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 200C, gas mark 6.
- Remove the cling film and place the loaf tin in the oven. Cook for 20 minutes. Cover the top with foil and cook for a further 20-25 minutes until the bread it cooked through. Remove from the oven and allow the bread to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out.
- Delicious sliced and served warm or cold.
Yacon syrup is extracted from the roots of the Yacon plant. The plant called Smallanthus sonchifolius, grows natively in the Andes mountains in South America. This plant has been eaten and used for medicinal purposes for hundreds of years in South America. The juices from the root is extracted and made into a syrup which is sweet tasting a similar to molasses. The active ingredients in Yacon are Fructooligosaccharides (FOS), which feed the friendly bacteria in the intestine and lead to various beneficial effects on metabolism as well as supporting gut health. It has a very low glycemic index which means it has little effect on blood sugar levels.
Makes 1 x 2lb loaf
250ml strong warm tea
225g dried mixed fruit – cranberries, goji berries, mulberries, raisins, cherries etc
300g Gluten free flour mix (see my combination suggestions)
150g Buckwheat flour or quinoa flour
15g dried fast acting yeast
1/2 tsp sea salt
60g butter, dairy free spread or coconut oil
1 tsp mixed spice
30g yacon syrup