Malt Bread

This delicious bread is best served a day after it is made when the flavour has had time to mature. Serve it in slices with butter.

2 teaspoons butter

1 oz. fresh yeast

1 teaspoon sugar

5 fl. oz. plus

3 tablespoons lukewarm water

3 tablespoons malt extract

2 tablespoons black treacle

1 lb. flour

1 teaspoon salt

8 oz. sultanas or seedless raisins

Using the 2 teaspoons of butter, grease two 1-pound loaf tins. Set aside.

Crumble the yeast into a small bowl and mash in the sugar with a kitchen fork. Add

3 tablespoons of the water and cream the mixture well. Set the bowl aside in a warm, draught-free place for

15 to

20 minutes or until the yeast mixture is puffed up and frothy.

In a small saucepan, melt the remaining butter with the malt extract and treacle over low heat. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool.

Sift the flour and salt into a warmed, large mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in the yeast mixture, the remaining water and the malt mixture. Using your fingers or a spatula, gradually draw the flour mixture into the liquids.

Add the sultanas or seedless raisins and continue mixing until all the flour is incorporated and the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl.

Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured board or marble slab and knead it for 10 minutes, rcflouring the surface if the dough becomes sticky. The dough should be elastic and smooth.

Rinse, thoroughly dry and lightly grease the large mixing bowl. Shape the dough into a ball and return it to the bowl.

Cover the bowl with a clean damp cloth and set it aside in a warm, draught-free place for 1 hours, or until the dough has risen and almost doubled in bulk.

Turn the risen dough out of the bowl on to a floured surface and knead it gently for 4 minutes. Divide the dough in half and shape each half into a neat loaf shape.

Scrumptious Malt Bread may be served toasted for an unusual breakfast, or fresh with jam for tea.

Place the loaves in the two loaf tins and return them to a warm place for 45 minutes or until the dough has risen to the top of the tins.

Preheat the oven to very hot 450°F (Gas Mark 8, 230°C).

Place the loaf tins in the centre of the oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until the bread is well risen and the loaves shrink slightly from the sides of the tins.

After removing the bread from the oven, tip the loaves out of the tins and rap the undersides with your knuckles. If the bread sounds hollow, like a drum, it is cooked. If it does not sound hollow, return the loaf, upside-down, to the oven and bake for a further 5 minutes.

Cool the loaves on a wire rack. Store when completely cold.

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