The Very Best Malt Loaf you'll ever bake.....and that's a promise!
What do they say? If Carlsberg made malt loaf.....?
The trouble is, I'm not a great fan of Carlsberg!
However, let's not dwell on that. A few weeks ago, I posted a recipe for Malt Loaf.
At the time, I was looking for a recipe that that gave me that good old-fashioed taste of Soreen or Harvo. The taste of my childhood.
I wanted dark, sticky and tasty. I wanted something that you could slather golden butter over and enjoy with an afternoon cuppa.
To be honest, it's a stunningly good recipe....but.....(and isn't there always a 'but?)......could it be improved upon?
And, a few weeks later, after a lot of thought and a few experiments......I've beaten it. Not by much, I have to say; but I have beaten it.
So, I can't call this 'Sticky Malt Loaf' because the earlier recipe doesn't deserve discarding. So, let's just call this:
THE VERY BEST MALT LOAF YOU'LL EVER BAKE.
It's a tough call....but, honestly, I believe it will stand up to scrutiny.
So, I hear you ask...what's the differerence between the two? The answer is simple....this recipe includes treacle or black molasses, as it's known in the States.
For us in the UK, it's 'treacle'. The Greeks knew about treacle. For them it was a medicine, a curative and an antidote. The Romans were the first to mine treacle in Britain in the first century AD. Treacle mines existed throughout the UK. Treacle seams were mined in Chobham, Surrey and in Tovil, near Maidstone and, as far away as Sabden in the Ribble Valley of Lancashire. The village of Tadley in Hampshire still holds an annual treacle fair, even though the mines closed many years ago.
Well, enough of this cock and bull story...by the way, did you know that the term 'cock and bull story' originated in Stony Stratford on Watling Street, now known as the A5?...........
9 tablespoons of malt extract (179 gms)
2 tablespoons of treacle (42 gms)
50 gms of soft brown sugar
150 mls of strong tea
200 gms of mixed fruit
250 gms of plain white flour (or you could use plain white and wholemeal flours at a 50:50 ratio)
3 teaspoons of baking powder
half a teaspoon of sea salt
Line a two pound loaf tin or use a 2 lb loaf tin liner supported in a suitably-sized loaf tin.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
In a large bowl, add the malt extract, the treacle, the sugar and the tea.
Then add the dried fruit.
Leave it all to soak for 15 minutes.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
Stir into the liquid to make a light batter.
Spoon into the tin and use a spatula or 'last-lick' to make sure you don't lose any.
Bake for about an hour or until a cake tester (skewer) comes out clean.
You'll find that the top of the loaf sinks a little. This is perfectly OK. Don't worry about it.
Cool on a wire rack.
MATURING AND KEEPING
This is a malt loaf that gets better with age. It needs leaving for about 5 - 6 days in an airtight tin. Alternatively, freeze it and forget about it for a while.
To store - wrap well in baking paper / greaseproof paper and then wrap again in aluminium foil.
Then tell me.....isn't it the best malt loaf you've ever tasted?
By the way, there's an excellent culinary quantity converter at