Guilt-less Desserts & Treats for your Family
I joined a gang.
I hope it’s the cool gang because at school I didn’t have a Sportsgirl t-shirt or tartan shorts which meant I was in the lower portion of the social hierarchy. So far I don’t know of any dress codes, other than maybe an apron.
I joined the Daring Bakers. It’s a community of bloggers from around the world who, each month, are ‘dared’ to make, recreate and personalize a recipe from another member. Awesome group – now to healthify a recipe!
The April Daring Baker’s Challenge was hosted by Wolf of Wolfs Den. She challenged us to Spring into our kitchens and make Easter breads reflecting cultures around the world. I chose the German Easter Bread as my base recipe and tried to traditionalize it. I had already made Hot Cross Buns, which are about as traditional as we get here in Australia at Easter (besides the Chocolate Bilby), so I borrowed the flavors of the hot cross bun and made a Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Professed Sugar Free, Paleo Friendly Fruit Loaf.
Now I know this tasted good as my husband, who detests nuts in baked goods, scoffed it down quicker than the time it took for the popular girls at school to tell me my overalls looked ugly (in hindsight they were right but I thought I looked cool at the time). Spice things up with some Sugar Free Jam or Whipped Cream and make a fancy afternoon tea.
This recipe, just like the Hot Cross Bun, uses yeast. I know, without the gluten using yeast seems pointless but it does change the texture of the dough hence I still preserver with the waiting and the rising! I also created a flour mix to use in this recipe which is made from Coconut Flour, Almond Meal and Arrowroot. I have always found, when Gluten Free Bread and Loaf baking, that having a variety of flours produces a much more ‘normal’ baked product than using 1 flour by itself. You’ll be seeing this mix again soon in other recipes.
- 1 cup dried Mixed Fruit (Sultanas or Currents could also be used)
- ¼ Cup Slivered Almonds
- 1/3 Cup Milk (of Choice)
- ½ Cup + 1 Tablespoon Coconut Flour
- 1 Cup Almond Meal
- ¾ Cup Arrowroot
- ¼ teaspoon Yeast
- 2/3 Cup Cold Milk (of Choice)
- 2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
- 1 Egg
- ½ Teaspoon Salt
- 2 Tablespoons Apple Sauce (see recipe below)
- 1 Teaspoon Lemon Zest
- 1 teaspoon Orange Zest
- 1 teaspoon Yeast
- ½ teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1 teaspoon Mixed Spice
- 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
- Dash of Nutmeg
- 2 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
- 2 Tablespoons Water
- 1 Tablespoon Gelatine
- 4 Apples (medium size), peeled and cut into small pieces
- 3/4 cup Water
- Place the dried mixed fruit in a bowl and cover with water and let them soak. Soak the almonds in the milk. Drain both well before using (see below) after 1 hour.
- Sift the Flour mix ingredients together in a mixing bowl and gently whisk until well combined. This will be used in 2 parts to the recipe.
- Mix ½ the Flour mix and the other sponge ingredients (yeast and milk) together until it forms a ball. Do this using a kneading hook on a Kitchen stand mixer or by spoon/hand in a bowl. The dough will be soft and sticky, but have come together to form a ball shape.
- Leave in the bowl, covered and at room temperature (or in a warm place if a cold day) for 2 hours. This dough is called the sponge.
- After 2 hours place the sponge (as made above), the remaining flour mix, maple syrup, egg, salt, apple sauce, zests, yeast, vanilla extract and spices in a bowl and mix until combined. This can be done using a dough hook on a Kitchen Stand Mixer or by spoon/hand. Add in the drained mixed fruits and nuts.
- Knead for a few minutes by hand on a well greased surface. The dough will be quite sticky but try not to add any additional flour. It will be sticky and not easy to knead like ‘normal bread’.
- Form the dough into a mound shape and place on a lined and greased baking tray. Let the loaf rest on the table for 45 minutes.
- Turn oven on to 175C/350F and place a large, empty baking tray in the bottom of the oven.
- Before placing the dough in the preheated oven, use a sharp knife to score the top and make a large X shape. This should be a surface marking and not go deep into the dough.
- Fill the empty baking tray with boiling water, and place the loaf in the oven and cook for 35 minutes (this is called ‘cooking with steam’).
- After 35 minutes cover the loaf with foil and continue cooking for another 20 minutes (total bake time is 55 minutes). If the bottom pan has become empty refill it with boiling water.
- Just before the Fruit Loaf is cooked, place all the ingredients for the glaze in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
- As soon as the fruit loaf is removed from the oven, brush/pour the boiling glaze evenly over the loaf.
- The Fruit Loaf can be eaten warm or cold and is delightful for afternoon tea when served with Jam and Cream. The X mark in the top can help divide the loaf into pieces (I cut each quarter into 4 pieces so had 16 in total).
- Place the apples and the water in a small/medium sized saucepan.
- Cover the saucepan with a lid and bring to the boil over a medium/high heat
- Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 8 minutes, or until the apple is soft.
- Mash or puree apple (retain the water in the sauce).
- Store in the fridge for up to 3 days or freeze.
- Apple Sauce:This recipe makes much more than needed for the Fruit Loaf so keep it in the fridge for up to 3 days or freeze the left overs.