Fruit Loaf

fruit loaf on plate

4.8 from 12 reviews

An easy and delicious recipe for Fruit Loaf with step-by-step photos. Perfect at breakfast, whether served warm or toasted.



To make the dough

  1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan, and leave to cool slightly.
  2. If you are using dried yeast, add the dried yeast and sugar to the warm milk. Leave the mixture in a warm place for about 5 minutes until it becomes frothy.
  3. If you are using instant yeast, you can simply add the yeast to the flour in the next step.
  4. Place the flour, salt, and lemon zest in the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large mixing bowl.
  5. Add the melted butter, yeast mixture and egg. (If you are using instant yeast, add the sugar and warm milk as well).
  6. Mix everything together until the dough is smooth. This will take about 10-15 minutes using the dough hook, or a bit longer by hand.

First proving session

  1. Lightly grease a large bowl with some butter or vegetable oil.
  2. Shape the dough into a ball and place it in the bowl.
  3. Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and set it aside somewhere warm for about 1 hour, or until it has doubled in size.
  4. Meanwhile, soak the raisins and dried apricots in some hot water. After about 45 minutes, drain the dried fruit and dry with some kitchen paper.

To shape the dough

  1. Once the dough has doubled in size, use your hands to punch it and knock it back.
  2. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface.
  3. Knead the dried fruit into the dough.
  4. Roll or flatten the dough into a rectangular shape, about the same length as your loaf pan, and about 1 cm or 1/2 inch thick. For this recipe, I use a standard loaf pan which measures 13 x 23 cm (9 x 15 inches).
  5. Roll up the dough and tuck in the ends.

Second proving session

  1. Lightly grease the loaf pan.
  2. Place the dough in the pan with the seam-side down.
  3. Cover the dough with a clean tea towel and leave the pan in a warm place for about 45 minutes or until it has doubled in size.

To bake the fruit loaf

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) (without fan).
  2. Place the loaf pan in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until it is lightly golden and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. If you have a digital thermometer, the bread is cooked if the internal reading is 85°C/185°F.
  3. Cool the loaf on a wire rack.
  4. The bread can be served warm, or wrapped in a tea towel and sliced over the next few days.

Kitchen Notes

* Please note that there is a difference between instant yeast (also called instant dried yeast or fast-action dried yeast) and dried yeast (also called active dry yeast). If you are not sure what type of yeast you have, please check the packaging for instructions on how to use the yeast.
* With instant yeast, you can add it directly to the flour mixture without having to activate it first.
* With dried yeast, you will need to activate it first as per the recipe above.

* As with most bread recipes, this particular recipe calls for strong white flour. Strong white flour contains more protein, which helps to create more gluten in the dough, giving bread that wonderful elastic texture when baked. However, normal plain flour (or all-purpose flour) works really well here too.
* For Swiss readers, I use Zopfmehl (or farine pour tresse) when making bread and enriched dough.

* You can choose to do an overnight rise for either the first or second proof.
* For the first proof: place the dough in a large bowl, cover the bowl, and place it in the fridge overnight. The next morning, let the dough come to room temperature before proceeding with the rest of the recipe.
* For the second proof: shape the dough and place it in the loaf pan, cover the loaf pan, and place it in the fridge overnight. The next morning, let the dough come to room temperature before baking as per the recipe.

I like my fruit bread with more bread to dried fruit ratio, so I reduced the quantities of dried fruit in this recipe and restricted it to only raisins and dried apricots the first time I made it. On the second occasion, I added raisins and chopped dried figs. You can also spice up the bread with some ground cinnamon and/or ground cardamon. Really, the variations are quite up to you.

Recipe adapted from Warm Bread and Honey Cake by Gaitri Pagrach-Chandra. This is a very simple fruit loaf – think white bread studded with dried fruit. But given it’s simplicity, it lends itself well to any personal variations which you desire. In terms of dried fruit, the original recipe calls for:
100 g / 3 1/2 oz currants
55 g / 2 oz sultanas (golden raisins)
2 tablespoons dried cranberries
1 tablespoon candied orange peel

All recipes on this website state temperatures for a regular oven (i.e. a conventional oven without fan). If you have a convection oven with a fan, please consult the manufacturer’s handbook on how to adjust the temperature and baking time accordingly.

To convert from cups to grams, and vice-versa, please see this handy Conversion Chart for Basic Ingredients.