Simple British Malt Loaf

Friday 26 January 2024

 

British Malt Loaf



They say you never know what you are going to miss until you can't get it anymore. This is very true. When I lived in the U.K. there were many North American things that I missed greatly and now I am back in Canada, it is the same.  I miss loads.


In the U.K. I used to try to recreate some of my favorite North American things and here in Nova Scotia I try to do the same with my British longings.


The other day I was craving Malt Loaf.   Malt loaf, for those who don't know, is a sweet quick bread, made with malt extract, lots of raisins and whole grain flours.  It has a chewy dense texture and is beautiful served sliced and spread with butter along with a nice hot cup of tea.


British Malt Loaf



The most popular brand in the U.K. is Soreen Malt Loaf.  It is a love it or loathe it kind of thing I think. I personally love it, but then I am fond of any type of loaf or cake that is filled with lots of dried fruits.



Low in fat it is squidgy and sticky and a great keeper!  The fruit in it is steeped in tea to give it even more flavor.  It is beautiful cut into thick slices and spread with softened butter, which (because of the low fat content in the actual loaf) you can feel very comfortable doing!



This malt loaf recipe I am sharing with you today was adapted from a page called Every Nook and Cranny. After having done an extensive search online for the proper recipe, this recipe was the one which appealed to me the most.


Two days later I have to say I made a great choice. It is excellent. Damp and squidgy perfection. Loaded with lots of sticky fruit. It seems to get better with each day that passes.  




British Malt Loaf 



WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE SIMPLE BRITISH MALT LOAF


For the most part very simple ingredients. The Malt Syrup is a bit harder to find, but I found mine at my local health food shop.  I have endeavored to convert the measurements as best as possible, but for true accuracy, weigh rather than measure your ingredients.


  • scant 2 cups (300g) raisins
  • 1 3/4 cups (200g prunes, cut into smallish bits
  • 1 2/3 cup (400ml) strong hot tea
  • 3 1/2 TBS (50g) soft butter
  • 1/4 cup (75g) molasses or dark treacle
  • 3/4 cup (175g) soft dark brown sugar, packed
  • 3 large free range eggs
  • scant cup (340g) malt extract
  • 1 3/4 cup (250g) all purpose plain flour
  • 1 3/4 cup (250g) whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda


British Malt Loaf 


I used Sultana raisins. It seems like a lot, but not when you realize that they will be divided between two loaves.  The prunes I used were Sunsweet prunes Just snip them into bits with the kitchen scissors.


You need nice hot strong tea. Two tea bags steeped in the boiling water needed for the recipe does the trick.  Your fruit will be soaking in this liquid.


I don't have dark treacle so I used molasses. Dark treacle has a somewhat smoky quality to it and is very strong. I, personally, think that it is an acquired taste, much like marmite. I prefer molasses.



British Malt Loaf 




Do be sure to use both white and whole wheat flours. This is integral to the recipe. You can use all whole wheat, but you will get a much denser loaf. It is not recommended to use only white flour.



Malt Extract is a specialized ingredient. Malt Extract is a rich source of soluble fiber and is very good for you. It can be made from any malted grain, but the most common one is Malted Barley.  If made with 100%  malted Barley, it is also called Malt Syrup.


 I purchased mine at my local health food store and it cost me $12.99 for the bottle which is enough to do two batches.


You can purchase the exact brand I used online in Canada here.  Or here in the USA.  In the U.K. it is found in most grocery stores or health food purveyors.



British Malt Loaf 




HOW TO MAKE SIMPLE BRITISH MALT LOAF


This is a very easy tea loaf to make and bake. It smells lovely when it is baking.  The hardest part is waiting a couple of days for it to ripen to perfection prior to eating it!



Put all of your fruit into a large bowl. Add the hot tea (to brew the tea, put two bags into the required amount of boiling water and leave to steep for 5 minutes.) Add the butter so that it melts in the heat of the water.



Butter two (9 by 5 inch) deep loaf tins well and line with baking parchment. Set aside.


British Malt Loaf 




Preheat the oven to 325*F/160*C/ gas mark 3.  Whisk the flour, soda and baking powder together. Set aside.



Whisk the beaten eggs into the steeped fruit, one at a time. Whisk in the malt extract, molasses and brown sugar.



Fold the flour into the wet mixture, mixing it in well. No dry patches should remain. Divide the batter between the two loaf tins. smoothing the top over.





British Malt Loaf 



Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes. When done a toothpick inserted in the center should come out a little sticky with a few damp crumbs attached. Do not overbake. The top will also spring back when lightly touched.



Leave to cool in the tins on a wire rack. Once cold, remove and wrap well in was or parchment paper. Leave somewhere cold and dark to ripen for 2 days before slicing and enjoying.  This keeps very well for at least 9 to 10 days.



British Malt Loaf





I thought that this loaf was even tastier than the Soreen's Malt Loaf that was readily available in shops in the U.K.  It is sticky and dense and filled very generously with fruit.



Do wait a couple days to let it ripen before getting stuck into it. This is one cake that gets even better with each day that it sits.  You can freeze the extra loaf or gift it.  The choice is yours!



British Malt Loaf



The British do like a bit of cake with their hot drinks. Some other traditional British bakes I have made to enjoy with a hot cuppa are:


TRADITIONAL SEED CAKE - Said to be Dorothy Wordsworth's (William's sister) favorite cake. This is a beautiful rich loaf cake, speckled throughout with sweet caraway seeds. It seems unusual, but it really is a delicious cake.


SULTANA CAKE - This is a beautiful sweet loaf cake which is generously studded throughout with lovely sticky sultana raisins.  Lightly flavored with lemon, don't let the simplicity of this loaf fool you into thinking that it is not something really special.  This is a splendid cake!



Yield: 2 loaves
Author: Marie Rayner
British Malt Loaf

British Malt Loaf

Prep time: 20 MinCook time: 1 H & 30 MTotal time: 1 H & 50 M
Sweet, sticky and delicious. Fabulous served sliced and buttered with a hot cup of tea.

Ingredients

  • scant 2 cups (300g) raisins
  • 1 3/4 cups (200g prunes, cut into smallish bits
  • 1 2/3 cup (400ml) strong hot tea
  • 3 1/2 TBS (50g) soft butter
  • 1/4 cup (75g) molasses or dark treacle
  • 3/4 cup (175g) soft dark brown sugar, packed
  • 3 large free range eggs
  • scant cup (340g) malt extract
  • 1 3/4 cup (250g) all purpose plain flour
  • 1 3/4 cup (250g) whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda

Instructions

  1. Put all of your fruit into a large bowl. Add the hot tea (to brew the tea, put two bags into the required amount of boiling water and leave to steep for 5 minutes.) Add the butter so that it melts in the heat of the water.
  2. Butter two (9 by 5 inch) deep loaf tins well and line with baking parchment. Set aside.
  3. Preheat the oven to 325*F/160*C/ gas mark 3.
  4. Whisk the flour, soda and baking powder together. Set aside.
  5. Whisk the beaten eggs into the steeped fruit, one at a time. Whisk in the malt extract, molasses and brown sugar.
  6. Fold the flour into the wet mixture, mixing it in well. No dry patches should remain. Divide the batter between the two loaf tins. smoothing the top over.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes. When done a toothpick inserted in the center should come out a little sticky with a few damp crumbs attached. Do not overbake. The top will also spring back when lightly touched.
  8. Leave to cool in the tins on a wire rack. Once cold, remove and wrap well in was or parchment paper. Leave somewhere cold and dark to ripen for 2 days before slicing and enjoying.
  9. This keeps very well for at least 9 to 10 days.
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British Malt Loaf



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2 comments

  1. You are so right, live one side of the ocean and miss the other, and vice versa. Will check my local British store for malt loaf before I purchase the ingredients. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I bought a jar of the malt at the local health food store. It cost me $12.99 and I have enough to make another two loaves. I guess spread over the four loaves its not too bad. I found the homemade loaf to be far superior to the Soreens in flavor substance and texture. But true, if there was a local British store I probably would have purchased it rather than bake my own! xo

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