Malted Fruit Loaf Recipe


Cakes River Cottage HandbookMalt, which comes from germinating barley grains, has long been prized for its nutrients and soothing properties. Some take their malt in the form of beer, or even a shot of whisky, but I can assure you it is equally good in this well-loved fruited tea bread. It was an economical, but very flavoursome bake during the war and post-war rationing years and remains so – the nutty-sweet taste of the toasted barley corn concealing the lack of any butter or other fat.

  • Yield: 16 slices


For the Loaf
  • 100 g malt extract
  • 100 g golden syrup
  • 100 ml milk
  • 75 g dried dates, roughly chopped
  • 125 g g self-raising wholemeal flour
  • 100 g plain flour
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
For the Glaze
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • litre loaf tin, approx 20 x 10 cm, greased, base and long sides lined with baking parchment
How to Make It
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas mark 4. Put the malt extract, golden syrup and milk into a medium saucepan. Stir over a gentle heat until the mixture is hot and all the ingredients are well combined. Remove from the heat and add the chopped dates and sultanas. Mix well and set aside to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, sift the flours, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a mixing bowl and make a well in the centre. Pour in the malty fruit mixture and egg. Using a wooden spoon, beat well until the mixture forms a heavy, sticky dough.
  3. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin, spreading it out evenly with the back of the spoon. Bake in the oven for about 40 minutes, until the loaf is well risen and firm to the touch.
  4. Meanwhile, to prepare the glaze, dissolve the sugar in 1 tbsp water in a small pan over a low heat. Add the milk, bring to the boil and boil for 1 minute.
  5. Brush the glaze over the surface of the cake while it is still hot from the oven. Turn out of the tin and place on a wire rack to cool. Once cold, this cake will keep for 5 days stored in an airtight tin.

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