No-Knead Fruit Loaf

This is my latest variation on the ever-faithful no-knead recipe. It makes a great breakfast bread and a ‘spreaded’ slice makes a good snack for school, or for those days when you have to go straight from school to a club of some sort.

The basics of the recipe are the same as the original with a number of additions. As before, you will need a large mixing bowl and a lined 9″ square (or equivalent volume) tin.

Recipe: Fruit Loaf


  • 540g / 1lb 3½oz bread flour
  • 1/2 tsp active dried yeast
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 50g / 2oz soft dark brown sugar
  • 175g / 6oz mixed dried vine fruits (with or without citrus peel as you wish)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 360ml/13floz  hot water
  • 2 tbsp flavourless vegetable oil


  1. Mix all the dry ingredients together very thoroughly, ensuring any lumps in the sugar are completely broken up and everything is evenly distributed.
  2. Add the water and the oil.
  3. Mix thoroughly with your hand until you have an evenly wet, gloopy heap in your bowl. If the dough is at all dryish, add a little more warm water and mix thoroughly until it goes suitably gloopy. You’re very unlikely to make it too wet, but if it’s too dry you just won’t get a good rise.
  4. Scrape your hand clean and cover the bowl with cling film.
  5. Leave on the worktop in the kitchen to rise for at least 6 hours, preferably nearer 8 hours. Do not put it anywhere like an airing cupboard. It’s meant to rise very slowly.
  6. When it has almost filled the mixing bowl, tip it out onto a well-floured board and scrape out the bowl.
  7. Fold it around until you have a less sticky surface to handle, then flatten it out into a rough rectangle.
  8. Fold one end in to the middle, then fold the other end over the top and shape your loaf for its tin.
  9. Pop it in, cover it with oiled cling film and leave it overnight to rise, again just sitting in the kitchen, not anywhere near a heat source.
  10. In the morning, pre-heat the oven to Gas Mark 7/ 220C/200C fan ovens, bake for 25 minutes then carefully and gently remove from the tin, take off the lining paper and pop the loaf back in the oven for another 5 minutes until the base sounds hollow when tapped with a knuckle.
  11. Leave to cool on a rack for as long as you can resist the smell. It really does need about 10 minutes before you can cut it without mashing the whole loaf!

Quick Notes

The smell of this baking before breakfast gets everybody downstairs in double quick time: always useful on a school morning!

Preparation time (duration): 20 minutes plus about 16 hours rising time

Cooking time (duration): 30 minutes

Diet type: Dairy-free

Number of servings (yield): 12+

Meal type: breakfast

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