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No knead fruit loaf bread


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No Knead Fruit Loaf Bread

I first came across this method of making bread way back in the mid 80s. It was one of the very early cooking columns I did in 4x4 Australia magazine in 1989 after a remote Cape York trip. Back then it was a godsend for making bread when we were out bush with no chance of a resupply point for food for weeks. We travelled along most days with a bowl of dough sitting on the back seat with the first rise happening.

It’s been a long while since I made bread, but recently while trying to find decent fruit bread for toasting I gave up and found all my old recipes and information from those days on ‘Carol Bates’ No-Knead Bread, which was then the only ‘high gluten / bread flour’ you could readily purchase as a normal home cook.

The ‘Simply No Knead Bread’ business continues strongly today, although Carol Bates is no longer involved. The shop in Seaford, Victoria, still exists, in the same spot supplying happy bakers with quality speciality flour and ingredients. Check out their web site for lots of recipes, hints on bread making, classes and lots more:

simply no knead bread

I can also highly recommend attending one of their many classes on bread making, of all sorts, if you are in Melbourne. I recently did their sourdough breadmaking class and can’t wait to give it a go. Just need to be home long enough to make the ‘starter’.

As well, these days with the advent and popularity of the home bread machine, you can easily purchase bread (high gluten) flour in your local supermarket.

This method takes very little of your actual time. Most of the time is taken with the 2 risings of the dough.

So, if you love toasted fruit bread like me, then give this recipe a go. I’m sure you’ll absolutely love it and it will inspire you to try your hand at baking other breads at home, or out camping!!


no knead fruit loaf bread











no knead fruit loaf bread


Hint: you can easily make this in your camp oven, either in bread tins, or inside an ovenproof dish that fits inside your camp oven. Don’t forget to place it on a trivet.

If you are making this at home and don’t have bread tins, you can bake it in a heavy based pan such as a cast iron pan, or a loaf tin – the heavier the better.

No Knead Fruit Loaf Bread
Original recipe by Carol Bates

Makes 2 x 500gm loaf tins or
1 x 700gm tin

This recipe is one of Carol Bates original No Knead Toasted Fruit Bread. As the description says it’s delicious toasted!!

DON’T make this quantity in your bread machine. It’s too much and you’ll have sticky dough oozing all over the tin and around the insides of the bread machine. I know from experience and it takes an effort to clean it!!!

Prep Time includes:  mixing / 1st rising / 2nd rising / baking
It actually doesn’t take much or your time. Mixing the ingredients takes about the most and that should only take you about 10 mins.
Cooking time: 25 to 30 mins

Dry Ingredients:
600gm ( 3 ½ cups) No Knead /High Gluten BREAD FLOUR
2 tspns Bread Improver
2 tspns salt
2 tspns sugar
1 ½ tblspns Dry Active Yeast
200gms fruit medley (combination of chopped dried apricots, sultanas, apples, peaches, etc)
50 gm dried sultanas
50gm cried cranberries (craisins) – optional but I really like them
2 to 3 tspns cinnamon powder

Wet Ingredients:
500mls very warm water (200ml boiling water & 300 ml cold tap water)
2 tspns oil (olive oil or vegetable oil)
1 egg – lightly beaten with 1 tblspn water

Mix all the dry ingredients together in a LARGE bowl, including the dried fruit. Mix well to combine. Make a well in the middle of the flour.

Pour most of the water, oil and lightly beaten egg into the flour well and mix thoroughly. If need be add the remaining water, and more if required. It should be a moist, stiff dough.
Note: the amount of water always varies a little, depending on the flour, weather, humidity etc.

Place some glad/cling wrap over the top of the bowl and set aside in a warm place to double in size.

Option: At this point you can place the dough in your fridge overnight and it will slowly rise and you can get it out in the morning, bring to room temperature and then go on to the next step.
If it over proves, just turn in onto a floured board, punch it down, mould it back into a round shape and put it back in the bowl and allow it to rise again to double its size.

When the dough has doubled in size remove the cling warp and turn it out onto a floured board. With the aid of a scraper, or your hand, the dough should drop out easily onto the board.

Shape the dough into a smooth ball (it doesn’t take much effort), and then divide in half if using 2 x 500gm bread tins.
Mould each half into a smooth oblong shape about the length of your bread tin.
Drop the dough into your oiled bread tins.
If using just 1 x 700gm tin just shape and drop into the tin.

Cover with cling wrap or a tea towel, and set aside to double in size once again.
The dough will rise quicker if it’s put in a warm place. NOT TOO HOT THOUGH AS YOU WILL KILL THE YEAST.

When ready, glaze the top with either water, or an egg wash (egg and a little water or milk). You can also sprinkle over a mix of cinnamon and sugar if you want.

Pre heat your oven while the bread is rising:
Electric - 220°C
Electric Fan Forced - 210°C
Gas - 215°C

Place the bread tins into the preheated oven and bake for 25-30 mins or until golden brown and cooked through.

Turn out onto a wire rack to cool.

Hint: The secret to bread making success is the FRESHNESS of your flour and other ingredients. If you use stale flour your bread won’t work!!

Hint: If you slice and freeze the fruit bread don’t try and toast it from frozen – it won’t toast very well as by the time you’ve got it defrosted it will be burnt.



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