Fruit bread

Fruit bread.
Fruit bread. 

With a delicious combination of apricot, pear, peach and cranberries, as well as walnuts, spices and orange zest, this bread is positively loaded with flavour. It's a very flexible recipe, so feel free to experiment with other combinations - raisins, figs and hazelnuts, for example, will also work well.


1/4 cup honey

3/4 cup lukewarm water

2½ teaspoons dried yeast

1⅓ cups plain flour

1⅓ cups plain wholemeal

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1 egg, lightly whisked

Finely grated zest of 1 orange

100 g (¾ cup) coarsely chopped dried apricots

100 g (¾ cup) coarsely chopped dried pears

100 g (¾ cup) coarsely chopped dried peaches

105 g (⅔ cup) sweetened dried cranberries

125 g (1 cup) coarsely chopped walnut pieces

1 egg yolk, whisked with 2½ teaspoons water

40 g (¼ cup) poppy seeds


1. Combine the honey and lukewarm water in the bowl of a stand mixer, sprinkle over the yeast and set aside for 5-6 minutes or until foamy.

2. Add the flours, salt, cinnamon, cloves, egg and orange zest. Use the dough hook attachment to knead for 8 minutes or until an elastic, slightly sticky dough forms. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 1½-2 hours or until doubled in size.

3. Knock back the dough with just one punch to expel the air. Use a flat-bladed knife to cut the dough, still in the bowl, into 5-6 pieces. Add the fruits and walnuts. Use the dough hook on low speed to knead the dough for 5-6 minutes or until the fruits and nuts are well incorporated.

4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and shape it into a slightly flattened ball, about 18cm in diameter.

5. Lightly grease a baking tray. Brush the dough all over with the egg wash, then sprinkle with the poppy seeds. Place on the tray, cover with a tea towel and set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 1½-2 hours or until risen. (The loaf will be not quite doubled in size.)

6. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Bake the fruit bread for 45-50 minutes or until the base sounds hollow when tapped. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.