Monday, February 16, 2015

Spiced Gatehouse Tea Bread

If you've never read any of the Redwall books by Brian Jacques, you're really missing out. I even devoted a whole blog post to his dedication to describing food. Go read his books; you won't regret it. Lately, we've been dabbling with a few of the recipes from an actual cookbook that he released some time ago. I mention it in the post linked earlier. Check that out, too. The first one we tried was a tea bread. This is a fantastic breakfast bread. Toasted and slathered in butter and/or honey, you've got a real treat. It also is a very good looking bread, just loaded with fruit. Make it and sit around pretending you're a mouse and it's like you're living the book! As always, notes and changes are in blue.

Spiced Gatehouse Tea Bread
via Brian Jacques The Redwall Cookbook

  • 3 cups mixed dried fruit, preferably 1 cup each raisins, currants and golden raisins (no currants on hand so we went with dried cranberries instead)
  • 1-1/2 cup hot brewed tea (we used pomegranate tea)
  • 4 packed teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice or 2 teaspoons each cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg 
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • butter, for greasing pan
  1. Preheat oven to 375F (190C, Gasmark 5). Butter an 8-cup, preferably nonstick loaf pan (I suspect the book may have a typo. I've never seen an 8 cup loaf pan. That's huge. I am thinking they meant 8 inch loaf pan, because that's what I used and it was the perfect size. Go me.)
  2. Place the dried fruit in a large bowl, Pour the hot tea over the fruit, stir in the brown sugar, and let the mixture cool for 5 minutes.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together the flours, spices, baking powder and salt. Stir the dry ingredients into the fruit mixture, then stir in the egg until well combined (I did the final mixing in the KitchenAid because I 'm lazy and didn't want to do it by hand)
  4. Scrape the batter into the pan, level the surface and place it in the top third of the oven. Bake for about an hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. 
  5. Let the loaf cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.
Good times!

1 comment:

  1. Hi there! I'm stopping in from Let's Get Real tonight. This bread looks like a fantastic recipe. It looks similar to a fruit cake that my grandmother used to make. I know her recipe also included currants. I'm a fan of dried cranberries though so I may have to follow your substitute.