apple rye fruit loaf

My sourdough adventure continues. So far I've had some successes but I've had a few failures as well. A few weeks ago I adapted the Apple, Yoghurt, Rye and Cinnamon Sourdough Loaf from The Bourke Street Bakery Cookbook. I made this bread many years ago and the original recipe used a tiny quantity of yeast which I discarded because, well I'm on a sourdough kick you know. As it's quite some time since I last made the bread, I'd quite forgotten the recipe makes 2 loaves and instead made one giant loaf which was way too big for me to finish. I halved the loaf, wrapped the bread in brown paper and offered it to friends and after treating myself to too many slices of freshly baked fruit loaf, froze the remainder for another day. What's left is safely stored in the freezer.

Here's the recipe for you, just remember either halve the quantities to make a single loaf or make two loaves otherwise you'll end up with the biggest loaf of fruit bread you ever did see. For all my recipes I use a 250 ml cup, a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60 g eggs. My oven is a conventional oven so if you have a fan-forced oven you may need to reduce the temperature by 20°C.

Apple rye sourdough bread - adapted from the recipe for Apple, Yoghurt, Rye and Cinnamon Sourdough Loaf from The Bourke Street Bakery Cookbook – makes 2 medium loaves

Fruit soak
140ml boiling water
1 Earl grey tea bag
50g dates
50g raisins
50g sultanas
90g green apple cut into 1 cm dice (reserved)

Pour the boiling water over the tea bag and let infuse for 10 minutes. Place the dried fruit into a small container. Remove the tea bag then pour the tea to cover the dried fruit. Soak the fruit overnight at room temperature.

Starter Build
40g white sourdough starter
20g white flour
20g wholemeal flour
40g water

Around 4–6 hours before you plan to mix your dough, combine the starter, flours and water for the starter build, mixing well to combine. After a few hours (I like to do this overnight) the starter should be bubbly and doubled in size. You will use 90g of this for the dough; retain the rest for maintaining your starter.

360g white baker’s flour
50g wholemeal flour
200g water
50g plain yoghurt
90g starter
1 tbs soft brown sugar
7g sea salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon

At least 30 minutes before you plan to mix the dough, combine the flours, water and yoghurt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix with your hands until thoroughly combined, then cover the bowl with a damp cloth and set aside for 30 minutes. This process will hydrate the flour

Add the ripe starter to the flour and water mixture with the remaining dough ingredients then using the dough hook mix on low-medium speed for 5 minutes to form a slightly sticky dough. Remove the dough hook then cover the bowl with a damp cloth and set aside in a warm place for at least 30 minutes, before your do your first set of folds

Thoroughly drain the soaked fruit and pat dry with paper towels. Add the fruit soak and the apple pieces as you do the first turn and fold in the bowl, ensuring they are evenly distributed. If the fruit seems a bit wet, you can throw a little extra flour in. You want a slightly sticky dough, but not a wet dough.

Complete four sets of folds resting the dough in between each one for 30–45 minutes. After your last set of folds, cover the dough with plastic and leave to prove at room temperature for 2–3 hours. After the 2 hour prove I like to place the covered dough in the fridge for a few hours to firm before shaping the dough.

Divide the dough in 2. Lightly flour the bench before pre-shaping the dough, cover with a damp cloth and leave it to rest on the bench for 15–20 minutes. When the dough has relaxed, shape the dough as desired, then place it seam side up into 2 lightly floured proving baskets. Cover with a damp cloth and leave in the fridge overnight, until ready to bake.

An hour before baking the loaf, place a Dutch oven on the centre rack then preheat the oven to its maximum temperature. Just before baking reduce the heat to 240°C, conventional then invert the dough onto a piece of baking paper. Lightly dust the top of the loaf with some semolina then score the top of the loaf with a razor blade or a sharp knife. Using the baking paper as a handle carefully place the loaf into the preheated Dutch oven and place the lid on top. 

Bake the loaf for 20 minutes with the lid on, and then remove the lid and reduce the temperature to 200°C and bake for a further 20–25 minutes, until the top is a lovely dark brown. Once baked, tip the bread out of the pan onto a wire rack to cool completely before slicing. If making 2 loaves then repeat the process.

Excellent toasted, buttered then topped with jam.

I know it's hard to believe but next week will be Passover week 2022. I have 5 Passover friendly recipes for you to tackle so I'll see you all again next week with lots of baking from my kitchen.

Bye for now,



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