Breads (Yeast) - Loaves

Fruit Loaf

March 14, 2018 | Recipe by Bake with Paws

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I found this bread recipe from old notes that came together with the bread maker machine that I had it many years back.  The original recipe is a plain white loaf.  I added some dried fruits to make it into a fruit loaf.  20 years ago, we were not able to find so many recipes online.  We were not that knowledgeable then and I knew only the straight dough method.  

After baking so many breads with the sponge dough method, it’s a nice change to go back to straight dough.  It is very simple and easy to make and 3 hours later you will get to enjoy a fresh loaf from the oven. The texture very soft especially on the first day.  On the second day, the bread is not as soft as bread made with Tangzhong or Sponge dough method.  So my advice is don’t make a big loaf. I usually keep the left over bread in the fridge and I’ll toast it when I want to eat it. This recipe doesn’t require egg.  If you add egg then it will become like brioche.  

I hope you will like this simple recipe.

If you have any questions regarding this recipe or any other post, please leave me a comment in the “LEAVE A COMMENT” link and I will reply you as soon as possible.  Do tag me on Instagram @Bakewithpaws if you attempt on this recipe.

How To Make Fruit Loaf 

Yields:  1 Loaf


300g bread flour (I used Japan High Gluten Flour)
20g brown sugar
1 ¼ tsp instant yeast
1 tsp salt
25g butter
200g fresh full cream milk
60g dried apricot
30g raisins
30g dried cranberry

Egg wash:  
1 egg + 1 Tbsp Water, whisked

Loaf pan (8" X 3" X 3")

  1. Line the baking trays with parchment paper.
  2. Put all ingredients (except butter and dried fruits) into the bowl of stand mixer. Using the dough hook, knead for 5 minutes (Chef Kenwood mixer, speed 2.5) until the dough comes together. Add in butter and continue kneading for another 10 minutes until the dough comes together, become elastic and reaches window pane stage.  Add in dried fruits and knead until all incorporated in the dough for about 2 minutes.   If the dough is too dry, add 1 tablespoon of fresh milk or water at a time. Some bread flour absorbs more water.
  3. Let the dough rise in a warm place for 60 minutes or until double in size in a large greased bowl, covered with cling film or kitchen towel.
  4. Punch down the dough to release the air. Transfer the dough to a clean floured surface then divide into 2 equal portions. Roll out each dough with a rolling pin into long rectangle shape. Roll up the dough until a small log is formed. 
  5. Transfer the dough to the prepared loaf pan.
  6. Place all dough in the prepared loaf pan.  Let it rise for another 45 to 60 minutes or until double in size. 
  7. Preheat oven at 190 C (top and bottom heat) or 170C (fan-forced) for 10 - 15 minutes.
  8. Brush the dough with egg wash.
  9. Bake in a preheated oven for about 30 minutes or until golden brown.
  10. Remove bread from oven and let them cool on rack.


If you don’t have fresh milk available, just replace the fresh milk with water and add 3 tablespoons of full cream milk.


Gluten forms when flour comes in contact with water.  Hydration of the flour causes the sticky and stretchy protein to form, giving structure to the bread.  This makes your bread trap air and rise. 

Gluten in dough can be developed by autolyse, resting, kneading or folding.

The windowpane test is used to determine whether the dough has been sufficiently kneaded.  By gently pulling the dough (or you may pinch off some dough) and trying to stretch it into a thin membrane.  If you are able to stretch the dough paper thin and translucent  without tearing, then the gluten is fully developed.  However, if you can stretch it without tearing but the membrane is not transparent, then the gluten is not yet fully developed.  

However, from my experience not all the recipe can achieve a thin and translucent window pane stage easily.   For example low hydration and low fat dough.  For such recipes, a reasonable window pane is good enough and it can be left to rest. Gluten will continue to develop while resting.  Exercising restraint to not over-knead the dough prevents the gluten from being overworked and broken.   Some of you may have experienced the dough breaking during the second proofing.  It is because the dough is over kneaded. 

The total kneading time for me is usually 15 minutes at low speeds except brioche dough with high fat percentage or dough using liquid fat which usually takes a little longer (maybe 18-20 mins).

From my experience, I found that high hydration dough with high percentage of fat will be easy to stretch and achieve a paper thin windowpane stage.

For kneading, please regard the timing provided as an indication only. It is only meant as a guide.  Timing may differ depending on the brand of flour and electric mixer used. The protein content may vary from one brand of flour to another.

The right flour plays a very important role in bread making.   To achieve fluffy, soft and light bread, I used Japan High Gluten Flour in most of my bread baking.  The protein content is around  12 - 13%.

The liquid measurement given is also a guide.  It is advisable to always reserve some liquid and not add it all in one go.  This would give you the opportunity to adjust if necessary. If dough is too dry, add the reserve liquid one tablespoon at a time until the right consistency.  This is because each flour absorbs water and hydrates differently. 

Please note that the proofing timing may also vary depending on your climate and environment. The humidity and temperature at your place will influence how dough rises.  
If you are unable to judge by just looking at the dough, you can do the finger poke test:
  1. First Proofing:
    • Lightly flour or oil your finger or knuckle, gently poke in the centre of the dough then remove your finger.  If it bounces back immediately without any indentation then it needs more time.
    • If the indentation stays and it doesn’t bounce back or if the dough collapses, then the it is over proved.  
    • If it bounces back just a little, then the dough is ready to be punched down and shaping.
  2. Second Proofing:
    • Lightly press the side of the proved dough with your finger.  If it bounces back immediately without any indentation, it means the dough is under proved and needs more time before baking.
    • If the indentation stays and it doesn’t bounce back, it means it has been over proved.
    • If the indentation slowly bounces back and leave a small indentation, it is ready to bake. 
    • There will be a final burst of rising once the bread is placed to bake in the oven and it is called oven spring. 
If your bread collapses or gets wrinkled on top after removing from oven, it could be because your dough over proved during the second proofing. Please proof until it rises 80 - 90% in size or is slightly below the rim of the pan.

Do also note that the baking temperature and timing provided are what works for my oven and should also be regarded as a guide only. Every oven behaves a little differently, so please adjust accordingly for your oven.


  1. Hi, if an egg is added to the dough, does any other ingredient need to be reduced? I am thinking that the dough may become too wet or should the amount of flour be increased to compensate?

    1. Hi there,

      Thank you for dropping by. Yes, you need to cut the liquid. Please reduce the fresh milk to 150g or ml first. If the dough too dry then add in 1 tablespoon of milk at a time.

      Cheers & happy baking:)

  2. Can omit milk totally as I m lactose intolerance?

    1. Hi Connie,

      Thank you for dropping by. Yes, of course you can. But, the taste will turn out slightly different as milk give some flavour to the bread. You may want to replace butter with olive or other vege. oil too.

      Cheers & happy baking.

  3. Hi,

    Understand that every oven is different but may i ask for this recipe was your oven using the fan forced function and baked at 190C? Mine turned out slightly wet so I am checking in if having a fan forced oven might help. Thank you.

    1. Hi, thank you for asking. 190C is top and bottom heat. I will reduce to 170C for fan-forced mode. Fan-forced mode normally is hotter by 20C usually.

      However, your oven maybe not as hot as my oven. So, you can increase to 200C (top & bottom heat) or 180C (fan-forced). It is best to use oven thermometer to check your oven temperature.

      Cheers :)

  4. Worked well for me. So soft and yum. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hi, thanks for trying and your feedback. Cheers :)


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