We often describe baking as a science. It needs exact ingredient measurements to make the oven magic work. However, that’s not always the case. Take sweet bread baking, for instance. While you need to measure your dough components accurately, you can always play with your mix-ins and experiment with various flavourings. And for this sweet bread machine recipe, I’ll be using glace fruits, walnuts and spice. Yum!
I’ve also added a short FAQ section that can help improve your sweat bread baking results.
Fruit and Nut Sweet Bread Machine Recipe
A sweet bread recipe is the next best addition to your baking repertoire after mastering the basics. And you could start with this delicious sweet bread machine recipe. It goes perfectly well with coffee or tea and spread of your choice. With the help of a bread maker, you won’t have to worry about adding the mix-ins at the right time either.
Yield: 1kg loaf
- 1 egg (59g) + enough milk to make 250ml
- 125ml apple juice
- 15ml (1 tbsp) oil
- 7g (1½ tsp) salt
- 30g (2 tbsp) brown sugar
- 600g (4 cups) bread flour
- 4g (¾ tsp) bread improver
- 10g (2 tsp) lemon rind, grated
- 7g (1½ tsp) ground mixed spice
- 10g (2 tsp) active dry yeast
- 30g (2 tbsp) each of sultanas and chopped walnuts
- 15g (1 tbsp) each of mixed peel, halved glace cherries, chopped glace ginger and chopped dried apple
- Measure your dough ingredients, and put them into the bread tin in the order listed in the recipe. Wipe away any spills from the bread pan exterior.
- Position the bread pan into the machine, then close the lid. Put the measured mix-ins into the automatic fruit and nut dispenser (or wait for the audible beep of your bread maker).
- Following your bread machine instructions, select the Sweet Bread setting. Choose the 1000g loaf size and crust option, then press Start to commence the mixing and baking cycle. Bread will bake in the time indicated on your bread maker.
- Once done, press Stop and remove the bread pan from the unit. Set your home-baked bread aside to cool down for a bit in the pan, then turn the loaf onto a wire rack. Remove the blade from the base of your fruit and nut bread.
TIP: If you want a glossy top for your homemade bread, pause the machine with 15 minutes of baking time remaining. Then brush the top with a gelatine glaze. To make it, combine three tablespoons of water, 1½ tablespoons of sugar and three teaspoons of powdered gelatine in a small saucepan. Stir over low heat to dissolve the sugar and gelatine.
Sweet Bread Baking FAQs
How do I add fruit to my sweet bread recipe?
Raisins or sultanas are not the only ones you can add to sweet bread dough. Any dried fruit, like plums, apricots, dates and figs, will work! Drying draws out the excess moisture from fruits, which significantly stretches their shelf life. And when you use them for bread baking, all they need is a quick rough chop.
Ideally, we add any mix-in near the end of the kneading process or when your dough is smooth and no longer sticky. That’s because we don’t want to affect gluten strand formation that gives your bread structure and good texture.
Why is my sweet bread loaf dry?
If you’re making fresh bread with fruit for the first time, you’ll likely encounter a few problems. Here are some of them and their solutions:
- Baked fruit loaf dries up after some time. Dried fruits can absorb the moisture in bread loaves. To avoid this, try soaking them in liquid that you’re using (like apple juice from our recipe) for half an hour. You can also use liquor like brandy or rum, or for kid-friendly loaves, hot water will do. If you’re in a hurry, you can also simmer the fruits for a few minutes on low heat.
- My bread maker does not mix my raisins or cranberries evenly. Depending on your bread machine model, these dried fruits can stick to the pan, making them harder to incorporate evenly into the dough. Solve this problem by tossing them in a bit of flour you’re using for the recipe. You can also try this technique when adding chocolate chips to delicious banana bread, so they don’t sink!
Can I mix fresh fruit into my bread dough?
Yes, you can, but it can be tricky, and you need to do extra prep steps. For example, you need to peel apples, cut them into small cubes, then pat dry before folding them into the dough. Bananas need to be mashed, while pumpkin cubes need to soften first then pureed.
Some crucial things you need to keep in mind include the moisture content of the fruit, recipe proportion and your bread machine capacity. Also, some bread makers cannot process firm fruit like Granny Smiths, so make sure to read your bread machine manual, too.
Which nuts work best in sweet bread baking?
You can use most nuts that you like or are locally available in your area for baking bread! My favourites include walnuts, hazelnuts, macadamia, almonds and pistachios. Aside from adding flavour, nuts in bread also add crunch and nutrition. If anyone in the family is allergic to tree nuts, seeds like sunflower and pumpkin make excellent substitutes.
How do I add nuts to my sweet bread dough?
There are several ways to use nuts for sweet bread baking, and your choice of method depends on your desired results. For example, you can:
- add them raw for crunchiness without significantly affecting bread flavour
- chop them up for well-distributed nutty flavour and crunch
- toast them first at low heat for about 5 minutes for an extra nutty flavour
- process or grind them to enhance flavour and avoid choking in kids
Are you still a bread machine beginner, or do you find this sweet bread machine recipe a little complicated? Don’t worry! You can start with simple ingredients and this list of easiest bread machine recipes instead.