This deeply indulgent loaf with juicy prunes and melted chocolate is delicious served warm and cut into thick slices. It is a sweet treat to be enjoyed with a cup of coffee for a gourmet breakfast, celebration brunch or afternoon tea. The dough can also be made into individual rolls,weighing 55g each (bake for 20 minutes) at the same temperature. As an added bonus, it freezes beautifully!
Preparation time: 20 mins plus 1hr 50 mins rising
Cooking time: 45 mins
Makes: 1 large loaf[divider]
500g strong plain white flour
350ml warm water
2 sachets dried fast action yeast –
1 ½ teaspoons salt
150g prunes – roughly chopped 100g roasted hazelnuts 100g plain chocolate – roughly chopped
1 egg – beaten
1. Sprinkle the yeast with 100ml warm water and leave for 5 minutes to dissolve.
2. Using an electric mixer, combine the flour, salt, egg and yeast together. Stir in the remaining water as needed to form a soft, sticky dough. Continue to mix until the dough is smooth and elastic; this will take about 5 minutes.
3. Grease a clean bowl with a little vegetable oil. Transfer the dough and cover with cling film. Leave to rise until double in size (about 1 hour.)
4. Line and grease a 1kg loaf tin.
5. Knock back the dough, then leave to rise for 10 minutes.
6. Add the chopped prunes, chocolate and hazelnuts. Knead by hand on a lightly floured surface until just firm.
7. Shape the dough and place in the prepared tin.
8. Cover and leave to prove for about 30 minutes.
#9. Pre-heat the oven to 180 C/ 350F / Gas mark 4.
10. Bake for 45 minutes until slightly browned and hollow sounding when tapped underneath.
11. Turn out on a wire rack and leave to cool.
NEXT WEEK: Fresh peach bake