500g strong plain flour
50g caster sugar
25g dried yeast
6 tablespoons warm water mixed with 175ml lukewarm milk
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
175g mixed dried fruit
75g glace cherries quartered
50g melted butter
1 beaten egg
- Sift 100g of the flour into a warm bowl and add 1 teaspoon of the sugar.
- Mix the yeast with a little of the milk and water and stir into the sifted flour with the remaining liquid.
- Beat well and leave for about twenty minutes by which time the mixture will have become frothy.
- Then add the remaining flour sifted with the salt and stir in the sugar, mixed spice, cinnamon, mixed dried fruit, cherries and melted butter.
- Stir in the beaten egg and mix to a soft dough.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic.
- Put the dough in a greased bowl, cover with a damp cloth and leave in a warm place until doubled in bulk.
- Grease a baking sheet and preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas Mark 7
- Turn the risen dough onto a floured surface and knead lightly for five minutes.
- Divide into three portions and roll each one into a sausage shape 30cms long.
- Plait/braid the ends together. Pinch the strands together at the ends and tuck beneath the loaf.
- Place the loaf on a greased baking sheet and cover with a greased polythene bag.
- Leave to prove in a warm place until nearly doubled in size.
- Then remove the bag, place the dough in the preheated oven and bake for 25 to 35 minutes.
Tip: When kneading dough, don’t be afraid of a little stickiness! Adding too much flour to combat it will make the dough lack elasticity and make the end product heavy.