Apple cider fruit loaf


This fruit loaf is made with apple cider, spices and dried fruits. It is perfect with marmalade. I think this could be nice with half a cup of dried apple added. I’ll try that next time I make it. I used the new James Squire Orchard Crush Apple Cider – which incidentally is a nice drop on its own.

I go through periods of having fruit loaf for breakfast, but I wonder how much sugar the store bought ones contain. This one doesn’t have any.

Apple cider fruit loaf recipe

1/2 cup currants
1/2 cup sultanas
335ml bottle of dry apple cider
3 1/2 cups of bread flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground mixed spice
1/2 tsp ground allspice
3/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves
7g dried yeast

  1. Soak the dried fruit in the apple cider while you measure out the other ingredients.
  2. Add the flour, spices and yeast to a bowl and make a well in the centre.
  3. Strain the cider from the fruit, reserving the fruit. Add the liquid to the dry mixture.
  4. Knead well for 15 to 20 minutes until the dough is stretchy. Cover and leave in a warm place until doubled in size – about 45 to 60 minutes.
  5. Knock back the dough and add the fruit. Knead until the fruit is evenly distributed.
  6. Shape into an oval loaf and place of a baking tray lined with baking paper. Cover with a tea towel and prove a second time for 30 minutes or until doubled.
  7. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 220 degrees C.
  8. Dust the loaf with flour and score it with a knife. Bake for 35 minutes or until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Cool on a wire rack.

Dukkah bread


It took me a couple of goes, but I have finally mastered making bread. This recipe makes a light loaf and is flavoured with dukkah. I actually used an Australian version of dukkah called Ockkah by Herbie’s Spices, but either would work well here.

Occkah contains Hazelnut, Sesame Seed, Coriander Seed, Pistachio Nuts, Wattleseed, Cumin Seeds, Sea Salt, and Native Pepperberry. Whereas Dukkah contains Hazelnut, Sesame Seed, Coriander Seed, Pistachio Nuts, Cumin Seeds, Salt, and Black Pepper.

The resulting loaf gives a beautiful aroma and is best suited to savoury toppings, or serve simply with a drizzle of olive oil.

Dukkah bread recipe

50g packet of dukkah or Ockkah
3 1/4 cups white bread flour
7g dried yeast
2 tsps salt
2 Tbsps olive oil
300ml warm water

  1. Put the flour into a bowl and the yeast on one side and the salt on the other side. Roughly combine. Add the oil and mix until combined.
  2. Pour in 200ml of the water and the dukkah, and combine. Gradually add the rest of the water until the dough just forms a ball and no flour is left on the side of the bowl.
  3. Knead well (15-20 minutes) until the dough is stretchy. Cover and leave in a warm place until double in size – about 45 minutes.
  4. Towards the end of the rising time preheat the oven to 220 degrees C.
  5. Knock back the dough and form a ball onto baking paper on a baking tray.
  6. Bake for 30-35 minutes.

Thank you to Herbie’s Spices for providing a sample. 

Review: Gluten free rice based breads

There are three gluten free breads available in Brisbane that do not contain corn or maize, that I can recommend:

SOL Gluten Free Rice & Pumpkin Loaf (Sliced) – by Sol Bread

Sol Bread’s rice and pumpkin is good, but it seems to be always dry. It’s best for toasting and doesn’t keep so well. You sometimes get the odd pumpkin skin or seed. The sliced version is so much easier to use. It is available from the markets, many health food shops and their Sol Bakeries. It is popular with cafes that sell gluten-free bread.

It contains: Filtered Water, Organic Rice Flour, Arrowroot, Pumpkin, Buckwheat, Sunflower Oil, Sea Salt, Cultured Rice, Xanthan Gum.

Rice Chia bread – by Dovedale Bread

Dovedale’s Bread is my next favourite. I love the addition of the chia seeds, which actually are pretty tasteless so you don’t even notice them. Best toasted again. The fruit and rice chia bread is also great. It is available from Mrs Flanneries.

It contains: Certified Organic Rice Flour (White and Brown) (50%), Filtered Water, Chia (12%), Certified Organic Rice Starch, Vegetable Gum (412), Sea Salt.

Gluten free rice bread – by Britt’s Organic Bakery

This is my current favourite gluten free bread. It is best toasted twice and tastes exactly like normal bread. It is available from Mrs Flanneries.

It contains: White rice flour, rice sourdough starter, potato starch,tapioca starch, rice bran, organic Non-hydrogenated palm fruit oil, rice malt, unrefined sea salt, guar gum, filtered water.

We have found it best to buy two loaves at a time, and place one in the freezer for the second week. Gluten free bread is also best kept in the refrigerator.

Damper Recipe

Australia isn’t known for its bread, but we do have damper. To make the traditional campfire bread more festive I’ve added some herbs from the garden, some leftover semi-dried tomatoes and a fresh tomato from our garden. The green and red flecks of colour make it ideal to serve at this time of the year. We prefer semi-dried tomatoes to the full sun-dried ones.


2 cups of self-raising flour
30g butter
2 tbps chopped chives and basil
1 tomato
6 semi-dried tomatoes
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup milk

  1. Sift flour into a bowl and rub in butter with your fingertips.
  2. Add the herbs and chopped tomatoes and mix.
  3. Make a well in the centre of the mixture, add the combined water and milk in batches.
  4. Mix quickly to form a soft dough. Add more flour or water/milk, if required, to get the right consistency.
  5. Place on a tray lined with baking paper. Brush with milk.
  6. Bake at 220°C for 15-20 minutes.

M.Y.O. pizza

Friday are the hardest night to plan dinner for. By then we’ve run out of ideas and steam, and the fridge is starting to look bare again. Some times the easiest thing is make-your-own pizzas. Stock up on some prepared pizza bases in the freezer – pita bread also works well.

We accidentally discovered this winning combination one Friday:

Pita bread
Tomato passatta
Half a red onion, caramelised (cook on low heat with brown sugar)
Handful of semi-dried tomato, chopped
Half a red capsicum, chopped
Several slices of ham, sliced
Several slices of sopressa, sliced
Top with handfuls of sliced fresh mozzarella and grated Parmesan.

And the good thing is that’s usually quicker and healthier then pizza delivery.

Another winning combination you may like to try is to swap the ham and sopressa for a small tin of corn with several slices of prosciutto.

2 top bruschetta recipes


Bruschetta is basically toasted bread, and is sometimes confused with the tomato topping, (which can vary). It is usually served as an appetiser, or you can have two or three slices with a salad for a light lunch. Smaller entre size pieces are called crostini.

Silver Spoon’s bruschetta recipe

Toast the slices of bread on both sides under the grill or a barbeque. Rub them with garlic while they are still hot and put them back under the grill for a moment. Arrange toppings on the bread. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil.

Caprese bruschetta (left)

Layer on the bruschetta, slices of mozzarella cheese (buffalo* preferred), slices of cherry tomatoes, and whole or torn (not cut) fresh basil leaves.
*for the creamy taste

Oliveade Bruschetta (right)

Combine the following ingredients in a food processor:

  • approximately 20 pitted, black olives
  • 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil
  • dash of lemon juice
  • half a clove of garlic (coarsely chopped)
  • a pinch of thyme

Vary these measurements according to personal taste. Spread on the bruschetta and top with strips of roasted capsicum (red peppers).

Oliveade is tapenade minus the capers and anchovies.

An easy lunch for the weekend. We loved it.