Tea loaf


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It’s bread week on The Great British Bake Off (don’t worry: no spoilers here!), so here’s my offering. I use this recipe and, for once, I don’t actually mess with it too much. The only tweak is that instead of the mixed spice, I use a pinch of ginger and a pinch of cinnamon, because it’s what I tend to have.

Halfway between a bread and a cake, making this fruity loaf always makes me feel quite grown up. But saying that, the kids are big fans too, and I use rooibos tea bags, which are caffeine free, so everyone’s a winner. Perfect with a nice brew.

Prep: 10 minutes (plus at least two hours for the fruit to soak in the tea)

Cook: 1 hour

Serves: 10

  • 4 rooibos tea bags (or any strong tea)
  • 500g pack mixed dried fruit
  • 125g light brown sugar
  • 250g self-raising flour
  • pinch cinnamon
  • pinch ground ginger
  • 1 medium egg, beaten
  • Butter, to serve
  1. Put the tea bags in a large bowl and pour 300ml boiling water over them. Leave for a good 10 mins to infuse. Squeeze them out and throw them away, then mix the fruit into the tea. Leave the mixture to soak for at least two hours (or overnight).
  2. Set the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Stir the sugar, flour, spices and egg into the fruit and mix.
  3. Spoon into a lined, buttered 1kg loaf tin and level the top. Bake for 1 hour, or until risen and firm to the touch. Cool in the tin for 10 mins, then turn out to cool on a wire rack.
  4. Wrap in greaseproof paper and keep for two days before slicing if you can, as this improves the flavour.
  5. To serve, cut into thick slices and spread with butter. And pop the kettle back on to make a cuppa.
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