A few weeks ago, I got this craving for Malt Loaf, and thought it would be a good thing to bake. I didn’t have a recipe at home, so I asked for a recommendation online, and Anna (after suggesting I could just go and buy some Soreen), came up with the following:
75ml (2 1/2 fl oz) hand-hot water
200g (7oz) brown flour or 100g (3 1/2 oz) wholemeal flour and 100g (3 1/2 oz) strong white flour
2.5ml spoon 1/2 tsp) salt
2 x 15ml spoons (2 tbsp) malt extract
2 x 15ml spoon (2 tbsp) black treacle
25g (1oz) margarine
30g (1oz) dark soft brown sugar
100g (3 1/2 oz) sultanas
Honey or golden syrup to glaze
2 x 5ml spoons (2 tsp) conventional dried yeast + 5ml spoon (1 tsp) sugar
or 15g (1/2 oz) fresh yeast
or 1 x 5ml spoon (1 tsp) fast action easy blend yeast
- Stir the dried yeast and sugar into the water and leave until frothy, or blend the fresh yeast with water, or mix the easy blend yeast with the flour.
- Place the flour and salt in a bowl, add the sultanas.
- Warm the malt, treacle, margarine and sugar until just melted and the sugar dissolved, and stir into the flour with the yeast liquid. (Note: if using instant yeast add to dry flour and warm the water with the malt mixture).
- Mix to a soft dough.
- Turn onto a floured surface and knead until no longer sticky (about four minutes), adding more flour if necessary.
- Shape and place the malt loaf in a greased 500g (1lb) loaf tin. Cover the dough and leave to prove in a warm place until doubled in size – about one and a quarter hours.
- Bake at 220°C, Gas Mark 7, for 30 minutes until browned and the malt loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
- Cool the Malt Loaf on a wire rack. Whilst the loaf is still hot brush the top with honey or syrup.
So Bryn and I set to making our first ever malt loaf. After mixing the dry and wet ingredients we weren’t left with a ‘soft dough’ but rather a pretty sloppy looking batter. Luckily Bryn was pretty good at adding liberal amounts of extra flour I’d guess maybe as much as another 50g (strong white bread flour). It was still pretty sticky, but with a liberal dusting of flour on my hands I was able to knead it a bit, and get it into a loaf shape.
It didn’t really seem to rise much, but we put it in the oven, and hoped for the best. The result was a dense, but rich flavoured bread, with a crunchy crust when it was fresh out of the oven. We ate it while it was still warm, with butter, but it was even better the next day (with butter again!). Soreen it isn’t, but it is very nice.