Mention “malt loaf” to a Brit and they will generally think of Soreen. Dense, dark and fudgy, Soreen is the kind of cake my nana used to have in her bread tin to eat alongside her afternoon coffee. It’s good stuff but it’s nothing like the tea-bread I’ve been making recently.
Lighter, less chewy and less treacley, my own version of the malt loaf is more like a fruit-loaf but with a very distinctive malted flavour. It’s lovely sliced with some strawberry jam but is spectacular toasted and smeared generously with butter.
P.S. In the past I’ve used honey or treacle or plain syrup instead of the maple syrup and the loaf has still been very good. Think the maple flavour does add a little something though. :)
Malt and Maple Loaf
15g dried yeast
15g caster sugar
150ml warm water
400g plain flour
2 tblspn maple syrup
3 tblspn malt extract
1/2 tspn salt
(Extra warm water may be required)
Whisk together the yeast, sugar and water in a large bowl. Cover and set aside in a warm place for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile melt the butter in a small pan over a low heat along with the maple sugar, malt extract and salt. Do not boil. Remove liquid from the heat once the butter has melted and combined with the syrups.
Sift the flour into the yeast liquid. Add the sultanas and contents of the pan. Stir with a wooden spoon to combine and create a dough.
Remove dough from the bowl and knead on a floured surface for a good 5 minutes. You may need to add a little extra water if dough is too tough.
Shape dough into a loaf shape and place in a buttered 1kg loaf tin. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave in a warm place for 4 – 6 hours or until the dough has risen to the top of the pan or doubled in size.
Bake in a 180 oC oven for 45 minutes.
Remove from pan and cool thoroughly before slicing and enjoying.