Fruit bread is an art form, a tricky endeavor, encouraging firm opinions from aficionados. And in my opinion, it all comes down to the ingredients.
I’m not one to be too dogmatic about what fruit is included, though I lean towards dried figs and large raisins with more affection than sultanas and dates. My main request is that the base be dense and chewy (preferably sourdough), and it must be decorated with dried fruit of the plumpest, richest variety, whether (preservative free) dried apricots, little currants or speckled figs. You cannot fake quality ingredients and for that, I’ll gladly pay eight dollars a loaf.
Sliced a little too thick, gently toasted and served with a creamy pat of lightly salted butter (and perhaps a spoonful of berry jam that I never end up eating), it is a breakfast I assemble too infrequently for my liking. Why? Well, I tend to get caught up with visions of grand breakfasts. My need to prepare and stir, flip and fold on weekend mornings means I rarely simply slice and toast. It’s only when I’m sick, tired or perhaps have had a little too much to drink the night before that I reach for a loaf at the shops, adding it to my coffee order. Ben is always pleased when I do, as am I. Especially as our local shops store this lovely loaf by Lievito bakery. I might have to start drinking more keenly on the weekend.
This morning I defrosted two slices of Lievito’s rye, raisin, fennel and orange fruit bread for breakfast. Their preparation includes fennel seeds, which intrigues and large, super juicy raisins, which please my sensibilities. It’s yielding but substantial, and balanced in its sweet, sour and savoury qualities. This variety is our favourite, along with Flinders Sourdough and Tivoli Road’s fruit toasts. Tell me, do you have a favourite fruit bread?
What did you have for breakfast today?