Russian fruit loaf

Cherries, dates and cinnamon add a delicious sweet spicy touch to this traditional Russian Easter bread from Paul Hollywood
By Paul Hollywood
Russian fruit loaf
  • Rating:
  • Serves: Makes 2 loaves
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes plus 2 hrs rising time
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

main

  • 500 g strong bread flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 75 g caster sugar
  • 75 g butter, softened
  • 60 g fresh yeast
  • dashes of vanilla essence
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 300 ml milk
  • 90 g dried cherries
  • 80 g dried dates
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

To decorate:

  • zest of 1 lemons
  • 100 g icing sugar

Method

1. Put the flour, salt, sugar, butter, yeast, a dash of vanilla essence, the lemon zest and eggs into a bowl and blend with enough milk to bring the ingredients together.

2. Slowly add the rest of the milk, mixing with your hands, until you have a soft dough.

3. Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for a few minutes. Put the dough back into the bowl and leave it to rise for 1 hour.

4. Line two clean flowerpots or loaf tins with silicone paper. Incorporate the cherries, dates and cinnamon into the dough, then divide the dough into two and shape each piece so that it fits into the flowerpots or tins. Leave to rise for 1 hour.

5. Set the oven to 200°C/gas 6. Bake the bread for 25-30 minutes until golden brown, and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool.

6. Mix the lemon zest, icing sugar and a little water together to form a runny icing. Drizzle over the top of the bread. Serve immediately.

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