Break’s over. The only break left to do now is… well, to break some bread :)
Maggie’s Little Kitchen hasn’t posted for about a year…. probably the single most terrible thing you can do to yourself if you’re in the media business. But because this is also a food blog powered by inspiration, friends, family, food, and hella fun, I gather it’s still okay to pick up where I left off. And here I am, back to you again with my favorite thing in the world… some hearty bread :)
And just so you know -- this blog post, and this recipe, and all the recipes thereafter, are made for two main reasons; first, because my husband, a certain Mister Ahmed Naguib, made me promise (on his birthday, no less!) to start posting again -- and not one-offs. to post "weekly". And second... I HAVE missed this; just making food for the fun of making food, and taking pretty pictures of it, for the fun of taking pretty pictures and making beautiful things. I'll admit, the dormancy of the blog had bothered me on multiple levels for a very long time. Perhaps all I needed was a challenge... small husbandly blessings :)
And because it can’t just be any old bread, its a delicious and rustic fruit-nut loaf that comes together in a couple of hours — fast (by the standards of good bread), fragrant, and filling. Slather a slice in butter, cream cheese, or jam, and enjoy <3
My personal preference was some peanut butter, a drizzle of honey, and a sprinkle of chia seeds, all warmed up on slices straight out of the microwave.
3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 sachet instant yeast
1/2 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon honey
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 1/2 cups dried fruit & nuts (I used raisins, dried strawberries, pumpkin seeds, and almonds -- feel free to add any other kind of dried fruit and nut including dates, walnuts, pistachios, chia sees, dried apricots or cranberries too)
Add flour, yeast, salt, honey, and water together in a large glass bowl, and mix with either a wooden spoon, or a hand mixer using the dough hooks. Mix together for about 3 minutes until you have a rough dough that's slightly elastic.
Drizzle the dough in the bowl with a spoon of oil, and cover with cling-film firmly. Place in the refrigerator for about 2 hours, until risen to double Its size.
After it's taken out from the fridge, deflate your dough and place it on a floured surface. Knead a few times (it should be much smoother and more elastic now -- if not, knead a little more) and then add your dried fruit and nut combination. Knead them into the dough, making sure to distribute it all over.
Shape your dough into a rough ball, and place onto a parchment-lined oven tray. Make sure you poke in any protruding bits of nuts or fruit so they don't overcook or burn; then, cover the dough with a towel for about 20 minutes.
Give your ball an extra sprinkle of flour, and slash a few times with a sharp knife or razor.
Bake in a preheated oven at 200.C for 35-40 minutes, and then leave to cool.
Enjoy warm with a slather of butter or the toppings of your choice -- and keep any remaining slices in a ziplock bag, reheating as needed. Enjoy!