Everything Stops For Tea
Last winter we took a bike ride along the coast and stopped off in a cafe half-way for refreshments and to warm up. This is when I tasted tea bread for the first time and found it so delicious that I vowed to have a go making it myself, but this never happened.
And then last week-end, my decluttering of the kitchen cupboards coincided with coming across a teabread recipe in the newspaper and it seemed about time I gave it a go. The recipe called for mixed dried fruit but as I was using up old packets from my kitchen stores, I used a mixture of dried cranberries, raisins and sultanas. Some of the fruit looked a bit dry (well there's dried fruit, and even drier fruit) but it was amazing how soaking it in the tea made it all plump and juicy again!
I adapted this recipe to make it low gluten, with half and half spelt flour and gluten free plain flour but to make it completely gluten free, go for 100% gluten free flour and also gluten free baking powder.
Tea Loaf Recipe
275g mixed dried fruit
300ml strong black tea (I used 1 x Earl Grey and 1 x Vanilla Chai teabag)
60g soft dark brown sugar
zest of 1 orange (optional)
2 large eggs
275g plain flour (or substitute for gluten free)
2.5 tsp baking powder (gluten free if going down that route)
1 tsp ginger
half tsp cinnamon
quarter tsp nutmeg
quarter tsp salt
- Grease and line a 900g loaf tin and preheat the oven to 170C/335F/gas mark 3.5
- Put the dried fruit and tea together in a saucepan and bring just to the boil. Allow to simmer for 1 minute then add the sugar and leave to cool slightlybefore stirring in the zest and eggs.
- In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, spices and salt.
- Add the dry ingredients to the tea mixture and stir lightly until combined.
- Spoon into the loaf tin and bake for 50-55 minutes