Well! this Malt Loaf 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 Soreen® 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, and I think this is 99% 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. If you try this recipe for yourself and add your own tweaks that work I’d love to hear about them.
A delicious sticky malt flavoured cakey-bread, delicious spread generously with butter or a free from spread of your choice and enjoyed with a hot cup of tea.
- 120 g snacking prunes
- 50 g dried snacking figs
- 1 tbsp black treacle
- 2 tbsp oil (I used sunflower)
- 50 g dark brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 80 g currants
- 1 packet Delicious Alchemy Brown Bread Mix (340g bags)
- 150 ml warm water
- 250 ml dairy free milk I used soya milk here
- maple syrup to brush finished loaf
To make the 'malt' paste add the prunes, figs, treacle, sugar, vanilla and oil to a blender and blitz until smooth.
Add the egg and milk to the blender and mix to combine, finally add the warm water and blitz one last time. Transfer 'malt' liquid to a large bowl.
Next add the currants and finally sift in the packet of Brown Bread Mix and 2 tsps of baking powder, fold quickly to combine, the mixture will form a thick sticky batter
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 a little flour mix to prevent sticking and aid the bake in rising.
Once you've added the mixture to the tin, smooth down the batter with the back of a wet spatula, this will create a more appealing finish on the loaf.
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!
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.
Make a foil hat (foil with an expansion fold in it)
Place the tin with the foil hat onto a baking tray in the COLD oven on 220C/Gas 7 and set the timer for 60 mins.
10. After 60 mins removed the tin foil hat to allow the bake for a futher 20 mins to brown on top.
11. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely, this is quite a dense loaf so the cooling process takes a bit longer than average.
12. Enjoy with a cuppa and loads of butter or dairy free spread.