I have been wanting to bake a bread with dried fruits for a while now. I have this wonderful vegetarian cook book called: Vegetarian: Over 300 Healthy and Wholesome Recipes Chosen from Around the World, that I have been referring to quite often over the past several years. The book is edited by Nicola Graimes and has a wonderful recipe for a fruit and nut bread. I halved the proportions of most of the ingredients from the original recipe in this book (page 496) so that I could make a loaf that would yield biscotti size pieces which would be ideal for an afternoon snack or morning breakfast with a cup of hot tea! The bread is quite nutritious too, see the ingredients below and you'll know why!
Note: I tend to use less sugar than called for due to the sugar content of the dried fruits.
1 cup pancake and baking mix; I used the multigrain mix from Trader Joe's.
1 egg, beaten.
1/3 cup low fat milk.
1/2 tsp baking powder.
1/8 cup sugar.
1/2 cup chopped raisins.
1/4 cup cranberries.
1/2 cup mixed nuts and seeds (sunflower seeds, pistachios, almonds, walnut pieces).
7 dried figs, chopped.
1/2 tsp Cinnamon powder.
1/4 tsp ground cloves and cardamom powder.
A dash of freshly grated nutmeg.
The oven will need to be preheated to 350 degrees C. Apply a light coating of butter to a bread loaf dish (I use the Anchor Hocking 5 Inch x 9 Inch Glass Loaf Dish). Now mix the baking mix, baking powder, spices, nuts, and seeds in a large bowl. Mix the sugar and dried fruits in a separate bowl. Now, add the beaten egg and milk to the dried fruit and sugar bowl. Stir. Pour this into the large bowl containing the baking mix with the nuts and spices. Mix gently to make sure that the the mixture is homogeneous and has no lumps of flour. I use a spatula for this and make clockwise turns and flip over the spatula after every turn. Spoon the mixture into the prepared loaf dish and bake for about 20 minutes. Use a fork to test whether the loaf is done. It should come out clean when inserted into the loaf. Remove from the oven and cool.
To cut the loaf into biscotti size slices, use a spatula to release the loaf from the sides of the dish and lift the loaf. It lifts pretty easily. I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was. Cut into 1 inch wide slices.
Serve with butter on top! Yummy.....