Saturday 24 December 2016

Yorkshire Christmas Spice Loaf comes up to date

I’m always on the lookout for old recipes and at Christmas there’s a wealth of traditional baking. I’ve adapted this Yorkshire regional recipe from The Imperial Cookery Book 1913 to make a scrumptious Yorkshire Christmas Spice Loaf. The original recipe has quantities for a large household but I've made a few changes, reducing the sugar, using fast action yeast, replacing half the currants with dried cranberries and increasing the spices to give a festive aroma.
Yorkshire Christmas Spice Loaf
1lb 11oz/750g strong plain flour
8oz/225g butter
1 sachet fast action yeast
½ pint/300ml warmed water
4oz/110g demerara sugar
11oz/300g raisins
5oz/150g currants
5oz/150g dried cranberries
30z/75g mixed peel
2 tsps mixed spice
2 tsps cinnamon
2 tsps ground nutmeg

Rub in the butter into the flour in a large bowl until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the yeast, sugar and water, mixing until a dough is formed. 
Knead for around 5 -10 minutes on an oiled surface until the mixture is soft and smooth or use a dough hook until the dough separates from the mixer bowl. Place the dough in a large oiled bowl. Cover with a tea towel or cling film and leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in size.  This can be up to a couple of hours. 
Oil 2 x 2lbs/1kg loaf tins. Add the dried fruit and spices to the dough and mix in well. Knead for around 5 minutes and then divide the dough into two. Place the mixture in the 2 tins. 
Leave to prove for another hour or more in a warm place until the dough has risen again and it springs back if you push it lightly with your finger.  Preheat the oven to 220C/Gas 7/425F. Bake the loaves for about 30-35 minutes until cooked through. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before turning out.
Meryl’s tips : Make a glaze by warming with 2 tbsps of apricot jam and 2 tbps redcurrant jelly in a pan. Brush over the loaves once they came out of the oven. Serve with lashings of butter. 

We’ll be enjoying a slice or two on Christmas morning. A happy and peaceful Christmas to all!

 Try more Yorkshire Recipes from Grandma’s collection :