UPDATED RECIPE 01.10.15

Well! this has been a labour love, there I am waving the ‘Life’s a drama, Gluten Free doesn’t have to be’ banner and I have to say I’ve got my knickers in a right twist over this bake…I am however pleased to write that I think I’ve done it, or as close as can be.

I’d had the idea rattling around my head for some time as to whether a malt loaf could be recreated gluten free, I love SoreenĀ® Malt Loaf and wanted Bethany to have the chance to eat it too, it would be perfect in her lunchboxes for example. When I saw that Delicious Alchemy had a sale on their Brown Bread Mixes I wondered if this could be the base for the malt loaf so I got 4 packets … glad I did, I’ve used three trying to make this recipe. The first loaf I made was the right flavours but definitely not the right texture, to be frank it was like a hard lump of playdough. The second loaf I worked on a better texture and lost the flavour in the process so for the third I threw caution to the wind and added an egg, reduced the oil, [UPDATE: bit more fruit, bit less flour, touch of baking powder] and I think this is 90% good to go. I wanted to make a heavier, sticky type bread rather than a malty light loaf, after all, with your run of the mill shop brought malt loaf you often find yourself sucking it off your teeth for the next 20 minutes, which lets face it is half the fun. Of course if I happen to make this recipe 100% at any point I’ll be sure to update the recipe and, by all means, if you try this recipe for yourself and add your own tweaks that work I’d love to hear about them.

Ingredients

60g snacking prunes
40g dried snacking figs
1tbsp black treacle
2tbsp oil (I used sunflower)
40g golden caster sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp baking powder
80g currants
250g Delicious Alchemy Brown Bread Mix (340g bags)
350ml warm water
maple syrup to brush finished loaf

Method

    1. To make the ‘malt’ paste add the prunes, figs, treacle, sugar and oil to a blender and blitz until smooth then transfer to a large bowl.
      Malt Paste Ingredients

      Notice my 4th mix is on standby just in case!

      Malt Paste

    2. Add the egg and mix to combine, then add the warm water and again whisk the mixture to loosen the paste and add air.
    3. Next add the currants and finally sift in 250g of the Brown Bread Mix and 1/2 tsp of baking powder, fold quickly to combine, the mixture will form a thick sticky batterMalt Loaf Batter
    4. I chose to use a 2lb loaf tin for this recipe, I imagine a 1lb tin would also work as there is not a huge rise on this bake, but you might loose the familiar malt loaf shape? I then sprayed the loaf tin with an oil spray and coated the sides with the remaining dry flour mix to prevent sticking and aid the bake in rising.Loaf Tin
    5. Once you’ve added the mixture to the tin, smooth down the batter with the back of a wet spoon, this will create a more appealing finish on the loaf.Before
      After
    6. While you set to work on the washing up (!) allow your loaf to prove in a warm place for 20mins. Today’s warm place was in the garden in the sunshine!Prooving the Loaf
    7. The loaf will not rise very much (if at all) but have faith. Using a palette knife or spatula, free the sides of the dough from the loaf tin to help the bake to rise evenly as possible.
    8. Make a foil hat! (please excuse my half naked son photo-bombing the clip!) 
  1. Place the tin with the foil hat onto a baking tray in the COLD oven on 180C/Gas 7 and set the timer for 80mins.
  2. After 60mins removed the tin foil hat to allow the bake to brown on top.
  3. Remove from the oven after 80mins and allow to cool completely, this is quite a dense loaf so the cooling process takes a bit longer than average.
  4. Enjoy with a cuppa and loads of butter or margarine if you’re dairy free too.