One of my favourite lunches on a cold day is to top a slice of fruit loaf with a sliced pear and some blue cheese and then toast it. However having bought a jar of pear, date and walnut chutney at a recent chilli festival, I really fancied having a "ploughman's" style lunch but still using fruit loaf, blue cheese ant toasted fruit loaf. As well as the chutney, I added a handful of crunchy walnuts to complement it.
Note my lovely retro "Palissy" plate - one of the last few items left from the set we bought when we got engaged in 1975!
If you have a bread machine, a spiced fruit loaf is the easiest thing in the world to make - and the house smells wonderful while it is cooking.
Place the following ingredients in the machine in the order suggested by your machine's handbook:
1½ cups of water
4 tbs oil - sunflower, rapeseed or light olive
4 tbs dried milk powder
2 tbs caster sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground mixed spice
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp grated nutmeg
4 cups strong white flour
1½ tsp dried yeast
Either fill the hopper with 1 cup dried mixed fruit (or mix your own from whatever you have in the cupboard) if you have a fancy machine that adds the fruit at the right time for you, or have the fruit ready by the machine to add when the "add ingredients" beeper sounds.
Switch on to the normal loaf setting and sit back and enjoy the lovely cooking smells!