Master Baker, Robert Swift of Shropshire.
Brown bread, seriously brown bread
1lb strong white bread flour, unbleached if possible
10 fl oz tepid water
1 tsp dried yeast
1 tsp salt
1 tblsp olive or rapeseed oil
Dissolve the yeast in the water.
Tip all the ingredients into a food processor and mix for 30 seconds.
Cover any exposed surface of the processor bowl to prevent the dough drying out.
Leave to prove until the dough has doubled in size - i have been known to leave this all day, while I've been out oat the workshops or overnight at the weekend.
Grease a 2lb loaf tin with butter or oil.
Put the dough into the greased tins.
Cover, as above while you pre-heat the oven to 200ºC
Place the tin into the centre of the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
To check that the loaf is cooked, turn it out and tap the underside. If it sounds hollow, it's cooked. If it doesn't stick it back in the oven, or you'll find you have a soggy middle :-)
Leave to cool on a wire rack.
125 g butter
2 eggs, at room temperature
50g ground almnds
75g self raising flour
100g dried cherries
2 tsp grated lemon rind (optional)
Pre-heat the oven to 170ºC
Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs and lemon rind and beat again.
Fold in the flour, almonds and cherries.
Line a 1lb loaf tin with butter papers, greaseproof paper or a loaf liner.
Transfer the cake mixture to the tin, level the surface and place i n the oven.
Bake for approximately 25 minutes - please remember that ovens vary, so it's worth keeping an eye on your cake the first time you bake it.
Check that the cake is cooked through - insert a skewer into the centre of the cake and if it comes out clean your cake is cooked.
If the cake is not cooked through, but the top is golden, cover with a loose sheet of greaseproof paper or foil - I use a butter paper - to prevent the top from burning, while the middle cooks.
Think fig trifle meets Queen of Puddings.
5 stale fairy cakes or slices of leftover sponge cake, crumbled.
Some boozy dried fruit, if you've got it. Otherwise, soak your dried fruit of choice in port, sherry, apple or orange juice for about an hour.
2 tablespoons of sweet wine, sherry or brandy (optional, but sensational)
250ml full fat milk
3 dessertspoons orange sugar*
Pre-heat the oven to 170ºC
Lightly grease a 1lb loaf tin.
Put the broken up cake and the dried fruit in the bottom of the loaf tin.
Pour over your booze of choice - I used the figs and the delicious fennel and maple syrup wine from the Nigel Slater recipe.
Pour the milk into a pan and heat gently to just below boiling.
Whisk the eggs and sugar together and then add the warm milk. You can use your normal sugar, with or without the addition of some grated orange zest if you haven't got a stash of orange sugar in the cupboard.
Pour this custard over the cake and fruit and place the loaf tin in the oven.
Cook for around 20 minutes, until just set.
Serve warm, not hot.