Christmas Spiced Loaf
This festive bread can be made ahead and frozen and makes a lovely treat for breakfast on Christmas morning
Prep time: 2 hours 40 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 10 minutes
450g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
Pinch of salt
2 tsp mixed spice
115g unsalted butter, chilled & diced
7g sachet easy blend dried yeast
115g unrefined caster sugar, plus extra for dusting
50g mixed peel, chopped
1 orange, zest only
1 egg, beaten
150ml milk, warmed
Vegetable oil, for oiling
1 egg, beaten for egg wash
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1. Sift the flour, salt and mixed spice into a bowl and rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the yeast, sugar, dried fruit, mixed peel and orange zest, then add the egg and the warm milk and bring together to form a soft dough.
2. Knead the dough briefly on a floured work surface. Flour a clean bowl and add the dough. Cover the bowl and leave to rise in a warm place for 2 hours.
3. Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4 and oil a 900g loaf tin. Knead the dough again briefly then pace it in the tin, cover and leave to prove for 20 minutes. Use a little egg wash to brush the loaf, and sprinkle with a little caster sugar and ground cinnamon.
4. Bake in the oven for 1 hour 10 minutes, the loaf should be golden and well risen. Leave to cool in the tin.