Dried Apple, Pear & Plum Breakfast Bread. I am always on the look out for a decent breakfast bread recipe, be it a loaf, a muffin, whatever. There is nothing I love more than a breakfast bread loaf!
A few months ago I had bought a bag of mixed dried fruits which contained plums, prunes, apples, pears, apricots, etc. It can sometimes be difficult to find these dried fruits all on their own, so a mix like this is the way to go, and it was perfect for making this delicious breakfast bread.
Prepare yourself to get very excited about this delicious bread, which is not only low in fat, but high in fiber and loaded with goodness.
The fact that there is no actually butter or other fat in this loaf, means that you don't have to feel guilty toasting it and spreading it with butter or cream cheese, or both!
The recipe I used is one I adapted from a cookbook I have by Bill Granger entitled Every Day. If you are not familiar with Bill, he is a chef from down under, and I just adore his recipes. I had quite a few of his books in the UK, which of course I could not bring with me.
I am slowly trying to replace my favorites of the books I had, and this was one of them. It is filled with lovely recipes that I knew I would use.
His original recipe used dried apples, cherries and almonds. I had the dried apples, but not the dried cherries. So I decided to use a few of the other fruits in my mix.
Dried pears (I adore pears), plums (I adore plums) and then the dried apples. Have you ever dried your own apples?
I used to dry them back in the day. They made great snacks for the children. I used to just peel and core them and cut them into slices. I then soaked them briefly in a bowl of salted water. This helped to prevent them from discolouring.
You could also use lemon juice.
I would then pat them dry and then string them up and hang them over the wood stove, where the air was nice and dry. They would be ready in a few days. You could of course speed this process up by doing it in a very slow oven.
You can dry green beans in much the same way. I think they are called "leather britches", but I am not certain.
When you want to use them you can just rinse the beans, and cook them in a pot with some water and a ham hock and onion. Delicious.
Dried apples can be made into pies and all sorts. Tasty bakes such as this bread recipe I am sharing today.
You start by soaking some good old fashioned oats in a bowl along with a quantity of milk. While that is soaking you can get on with the business of doing everything else you need to do for the recipe.
Sort and chop your fruit. I cut mine into a small dice. Toast your nuts. Pop them onto a baking sheet and toast them in your oven at about 375*F/190*C for 8 to 10 minutes. Toasted nuts always taste better.
You will need self rising flour for this recipe. I used white, but you can also use whole wheat if you really want to add nutrition and protein.
I make my own self rising flour here in Canada. For every cup of flour needed, add 1 1/2 tsp of baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt. I make it 3 or 4 cups at a time and keep it in the cupboard in a tightly closed container.
You can do the same with whole meal flour. It never goes off because I always use it up. I don't recommend making it in larger quantities than that just in case.
You want to make a reasonable amount that you know you are going to use up before the baking powder goes off. (Check the expiration date on your baking powder and use it up before then.)
For this recipe, measure the self rising flour into a bowl along with the baking powder you need in addition and some salt. Whisk it all well together.
Then add the brown sugar. You might want to work this in with your fingertips, just to make sure any lumps in your brown sugar are rubbed out, and it is mixed evenly throughout.
Then you can stir in your toasted nuts and your dried fruits. You can use any dried fruit you want actually. Prunes and apricots would be a lovely combination as well.
By then your oats should be ready to you can go ahead and preheat the oven and butter your loaf tin. I used a 9 inch by 4 inch loaf tin. Butter it and then line it with baking paper, leaving an overhang to lift the baked loaf out of the tin with.
Beat an egg and some liquid honey into your oat mixture, making sure everything is well distributed and the honey well amalgamated. Then it is as simple as mixing the two together, the dry and the wet.
Just stir it well together. You don't want any dry patches or lumps. Scrape it into the baking pan, sprinkle some more nuts on top, and bake.
Bake until well risen, golden brown and those nuts on top are looking very scrumptious. Leave it in the pan for about 10 minutes, lift out and then cool completely.
Personally I like to let it sit overnight before I start cutting into it. I do that will all of my quick breads They cut much nicer if you do that.
This is beautiful cut into 1/2 inch slices and toasted in the toaster oven or under a grill just until it is lightly toasted on both sides.
The nuts get all toasty and nutty, the fruit warms up, the oats start to snap a bit. Toasty little golden brown slices.
Spread with cold butter and cream cheese. Both melting down into those toasty crevices imparting lovely flavors to the loaf.
Then you can add a drizzle of honey. Just a drizzle. Oh boy, but this is some good.
I could eat this every morning and never . . . ever . . . get tired of it. Its so wholesome and delicious.
You can feel good about eating it because it is loaded with fruit and fiber and no fat but what you add to it yourself. As little or as much as you dare.
This makes for good eating any time of the day to be honest. Fruit-filled, oaty, moreish and delicious!
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Dried Apple, Pear & Plum Breakfast Bread
Yield: Makes one (9 by 4-inch) loaf
Author: Marie Rayner
Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 50 Mininactive time: 29 MinTotal time: 1 H & 29 M
This is a lovely bread to toast for breakfast. Chock full of goodness and fat free you don't have to feel guilty spreading it with butter and cream cheese, perhaps with a drizzle of honey.
1/2 cup (50g) old fashioned rolled oats
2 1/4 cups (300ml) milk
1 3/4 cups (240g) self rising flour ( see note below)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups (250g) diced dried fruits (I used apple, pears and plums)
1/3 cup, packed (75g) soft light brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3 TBS liquid honey
1 large free range egg, beaten
5 TBS roughly chopped toasted walnuts, divided
Put the oats into a bowl. Pour the milk over top and leave to soak for half an hour.
Sift the flour into a bowl with the baking powder and salt. Stir in the brown sugar, breaking up any lumps with your fingers. Stir in the diced fruits, cinnamon and 3 tablespoons of the chopped and toasted nuts.
Preheat the oven to 350*F/180*C/ gas mark 4. Butter your loaf tin and line with baking paper.
Whisk the oat/milk mixture together with the egg and honey. Pour this over the dry mixture and combine thoroughly. It should all be evenly moistened with no dry bits. Pour into the prepared tin. Sprinkle the remaining chopped nuts on top.
Bake in the preheated oven for 45 to 50 minutes, until well risen and golden brown. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean.
Leave in the pan to cool for 10 minutes, then lift out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Serve cut into slices, toasted and spread with butter, cream cheese and a drizzle of honey if desired.
You can easily make your own self rising flour. For every cup of flour, simply whisk in 1 1/2 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt. I often make this up 3 to 4 cups at a time and keep it in a container ready to use when I need it. Just give it a quick whisk and then use as desired.
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