A really lovely combination of two great flavours – you have the sweet, plump taste of the sultanas mingling with the lightly perfumed fennel taste wrapped up in a fantastic crusty loaf. If you can find golden sultanas, that is great but it works equally well with ordinary ones.
Using a basic white bread mix you just add your fennel and sultanas. There are variations using rye and white flours but for this recipe I have just used white. Be sure to use strong white flour for a better, crustier loaf.
500g strong white flour
½ tsp salt
1 tsp granulated sugar
1 tsp fast action yeast
2 tsps fennel seeds
A handful of sultanas.
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
300ml lukewarm water.
- Add flour and salt to the mixing bowl, then stir in the sugar, fennel seeds and yeast. Add the vegetable oil and enough water to form a soft dough.
- Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for up to 10 minutes until it is soft and elastic. At this point you can add the sultanas and knead them in well.
- Shape the dough on a greased, flour baking tray (or in a loaf tin prepared in the same way)
- Cover and leave it to rise in a warm place until it has doubled in size – at least 45 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 230 °C/ Gas mark 8/ 446 °F.
- Bake the loaf for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven to 200 °C/ 390° F/ Gas mark 6 and bake it for a further 15 – 20 minutes. When it has risen, is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped underneath it is ready.
- Remove from oven, turn out and cool on a wire rack.