I was touring through Wales by rental car a while ago. One thing I found in many bakeries and small cafes was a dark heavy fruit bread. It took me a couple of days to find the time to try it and I fell for this bread the moment I tasted it. Since then it is on my baking agenda more then once every year.
There is no fat in the bread and so you can eat the slices with lots of cold butter. Now it depends if you are the sweet type, have some jam or marmalade on top of the butter, or as I am more the savoury kind of girl, have some Stilton or mature cheddar to go with the butter.
450 g dried fruit (raisins, cherries, figs, plums and apricots)
300 ml hot strong black tea
200 g brown sugar
Mix the hot tea with the sugar and pour it over the chopped dried fruits, let them sit over night or for 24 hours.
450 g self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp spices like cinnamon, allspice, vanilla, nutmeg, tonka and so on
2 tbsp apricot jam and some for brushing later
Preheat the oven 170 C
Use a 900g loaf baking dish and get baking paper in and around.
Fill in the dough and bake for 1,5 hours, use foil to cover after 50 min.
When it comes out of the oven and is still a bit warm, use a bit more apricot jam to brush the outside.