Fruited Spelt Loaf:
I’ve been sent a lovely Mermaid loaf tin to test. It’s designed for a half kilo loaf of bread, with that wonderful non-stick finish that all Mermaid bakeware has. Now, as a confirmed non-baker, I was wondering what to try to make. Normal bread is generally quite ‘non-stick’ so it wouldn’t really test the pan. And in any case, I had eggs, nuts, an assortment of dried fruit and spelt flour that needed using up. I buy dried fruit before Christmas, in an effort to bake, make mince pies and do all those other good homely type things that I read about in magazines. And mostly it just sits in the cupboard. So, I wanted a sweetened bread of some sort.
I became a woman on a mission. I wanted a recipe that would use up things. And, by googling my cornucopia of a store cupboard ingredient list I came across Vaisiu Pyragas – Lithuanian Fruit Bread. It really did a remarkable job of using up the things I already had, even down to the small amount of butter left in the fridge! I did use spelt flour, where the original recipe asked for normal white flour. And although I was working to roughly half the original recipe quantities, I used two whole eggs and rather a lot of rum. Which might explain why my finished dough was a little ‘wet’.
The recipe essentially involves making a sweetened plain dough and allows it to rise once, before enriching it with eggs, more sugar, a lot of dried fruit and nuts, butter, and in my case a liberal dose of rum. The result is a wonderfully scented dough that is promising even before you baste it with sugary cinnamon butter and roll it up.
The quantity in my recipe fills two half kilo loaf tins. And, the end result is a cross between a fruited spiced brioche and a buttery tea-bread. It’s rich without being sickly and very moreish. I actually ate 4 slices last night before I decided to freeze the remainder for the sake of my diet! I suspect the spelt flour is uniquely suited to the ingredients because it has a tendency to be dry. But the mixture of dried fruit, butter, milk, nuts and eggs means that just isn’t likely.
Will I be making it again? Definitely. I’ll probably try using a little more cinnamon butter in the filling and I’ll avoid chopping the walnuts up quite so finely. I’ve still got about the same amount again of dried fruit to use up, so it will still be a very economical cake.
Disclaimer: I was sent a free sample of spelt flour and the Mermaid loaf tin to review.
I’m entering this into The Credit Crunch Munch for April hosted by Camilla and Helen, because everything here is using leftovers, ends of packets and things that would otherwise still be in my store cupboard by next Christmas!