Mary Hawkins' Fruit Bread
Begin basic sour dough recipe, creating the sponge. Fill a quart container with diced dried fruit. Any combination is fine. A mix of tart and sweet work great. Dried cranberries, raisins, diced apples, peaches, apricots, cherries, pineapple are all good choices. Pack them in and then fill the container with orange juice. Let them soak for several hours or overnight. Add the entire container to the sponge.
Other additions to the mix: 2 tsp. salt, 1/3 cup barley syrup or any other sweetener you’d like, 1 tsp fruit fresh, the finely grated zest of one orange and one lemon.
Optional additions are chopped nuts or ground nuts.
Mix all of this thoroughly. Add sufficient flour to this to knead it. Return to bowl, moisten top with oil, butter or Pam. Let it double in size. Knead again, divide into three and shape into loaves. Let rise in the bread pans. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake for 10 minutes, then decrease oven temp to 350 degrees and continue baking for 40-45 more minutes. Cool on cooling rack.
This works well with the substitution of a cup or two of whole wheat flour.
Linda,You are welcome to post the fruit bread recipe. For clarification, I soak the fruit in the OJ overnight while the sponge is forming. I also found adding dried orange and lemon peel zest, about a teaspoon of each, is just the right addition to make it even better. It's important to make sure all these ingredients have a chance to become really well hydrated along with the flour before kneading. Otherwise they will soak up even more of the liquid during rising and make the final product too dry. I haven't been measuring but I estimate the amount of malt syrup at 1/4 to 1/3 cup. I only use about half the amount of salt as in regular sourdough as it is a sweet bread. I leave out the Fruit Fresh because the fruit and the juice are sufficient.
Tenting foil over the bread about a third of the way through backing keeps the tops from browning too much. It browns much faster than the regular bread.