Fennel and Sultana Bread – Week 16

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.

The recipe

Ingredients

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Shape the dough on a greased, flour baking tray (or in a loaf tin prepared in the same way)
  4. Cover and leave it to rise in a warm place until it has doubled in size – at least 45 minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven to 230 °C/ Gas mark 8/ 446 °F.
  6. 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.
  7. Remove from oven, turn out and cool on a wire rack.
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