Thursday, November 10, 2016

Not Soreen

*Updated to add baking temperature. Thanks, Bibi for pointing it out.

By now you've read enough about the election, and anything I'd have to offer would be redundant so instead, here's my recipe for malt loaf. You can't spend the next four years drinking without any food in your stomach, and I'm old enough to still believe the hype that malt loaf is a nutritionally sound thing to eat.

We get through two of these a week as breakfasts, lunch with cheese, after a run, before bed, etc. My recipe is not the yeast risen variety, and it does not use eggs or dairy. Over time I've eliminated the additional sugar from the recipe as the fruit and malt are sweet enough for our tastes. It is a bit on the plain side compared to the commercial loaves. I don't eat bread, generally but malt loaf is the exception. I don't however toast it as my teeth are too old and delicate to have a sticky piece of toast affixed to them.

Before I go on-this is completely unrelated, it is 11:15 PM and "Lawnmower Man" across the street is outside...you guessed it! Look, I have stress too, I completely understand, but how the hell do you see to mow in pitch darkness? His garage light isn't that strong.

Back to the malt loaf. I use Eden malt syrup which is the only brand widely available where I live. The Korean market sells a super-refined malt syrup that is clear like corn syrup, but it lacks that earthy malty taste-so why bother? Eden isn't cheap as it is organic, so if you have something less expensive available you should go ahead and use it so long as it hasn't been ultra refined. You may wish to add a few tablespoons of brown sugar to the recipe. I do not as I prefer it less sweet.

I use whatever dried fruit is languishing in ends of bags in the fridge. Sometimes that's raisins, other times prunes. Today I made a loaf with chopped dates and sultanas. Just keep the proportion the same and use what you like. You could skip the fruit altogether, but where's the enjoyment in that?

You Will Need:

150 ml strong, hot tea (I used Red Rose because that's the tea Danny drinks and we always have it)
7 tablespoons malt syrup (more or less according to taste)
2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses or black treacle (optional, but it adds depth of flavour)
1 cup chopped, dried fruit
1 cup wholemeal flour
1 cup plain flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Additional malt syrup for brushing top

Line a small loaf pan (about 8x8) with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a bowl, combine the malt, molasses, and fruit. Let steep until cool, and fruit has plumped-about 10 minutes. Sift together the dry ingredients. Combine the dry and wet ingredients gently with a spatula. You'll see an interesting reaction between the baking powder and the malt syrup where the dough takes on an airy texture-almost like cinder toffee. Gently pour it into the pan and bake about 50 minutes. You'll need to test it with a toothpick, but it shouldn't be bone dry-a few crumbs hanging on is just perfect.

While still hot, brush the top of the loaf with additional malt syrup. Cool completely in the pan. Remove the baking paper and re-wrap it in a fresh piece, then tightly wrap in cling film over the baking paper. Store at least two days in a tightly closed tin before cutting and serving. Three days is best. As you get halfway through the loaf, make another so that's you'll never be without. Tightly wrapped and stored in a tin, it should last about 10 days-but it will be eaten long before that.



10 comments:

Vix said...

Jon's rather partial to malt loaf. I don't think I've ever seen malt syrup in our shops but there again I've never thought of making a malt loaf so I've never looked.
Mowing a lawn 'cos your upset or drinking? I know which one I'd chose.
I'm so sorry about the result of your election. xxx

Mim said...

I can't remember the last time I had malt loaf. It strikes me as a very good autumn/winter thing, along with things like crumpets. Stuff that'll stick to your ribs.

Miss Magpie said...

I love malt loaf the downside is I love it with a thick layer of butter covering it!

ThriftyParka said...

hahaha! Loved the second sentence!! Goodness gracious, cutting the lawn at 11:55pm? I'm surprised no one has sabatauged the lawnmower.

Keep your chin up Goody!

Happy thrifting ;)

Veronica Cooke said...

I like malt loaf but prefer a tea loaf. I've never heard of malt syrup either!

Soak a cup of raisins or mixed fruit in cold strong tea preferably overnight; add a cup of SR flour and half a cup of sugar; mix together put in a small greased loaf tin and bake in a moderate oven until cooked. Delicious with a good dollop of butter spread on top!

I think as long as you keep the proportions as 1:1:1:0.5 it should be ok.

Have a great weekend and just pretend the election result was all a horrible dream.....

Veronica
vronni60s.blogspot.com

Goody said...

@Vix
Thanks. We were pretty sad for you with Brexit. What piles of shit, eh?

@Mim
I need some stodge right now.

@Miss Magpie
If I could get good quality butter, I would too.

@Thrify Parka
I'm thinking of going over there with a few neighbours to do a reverse intervention.
"We've been thinking John, you need to take up drinking instead of gardening..."

@Veronica
I like the sound of that! I never buy self-rising, and I really should. Thanks for reminding me.

Malt syrup is useful if you bake a lot of bread-it helps with colour, moisture and texture. I use it in my bagel dough to get the sweetness instead of honey, and it does have an impact of the chewiness of the crust. Some people use dried malt (the sort for home brewing, not the malted milk you use atop ice cream) to get similar effects.

Beth Waltz said...

We've a lawnmower man in our neighborhood who drives at night, and sometimes after a snowfall (when his wife makes him wear a Santa Claus hat). It's his way venting without punching holes in the drywall.

Note: in observance of Armistice Day I do recommend the final scene of the final episode of Blackadder, "Over the Top." Suits our mood.

Bibi Maizoon said...

Oh the never ending drone of lawnmowers and weed whackers in my native California. That and 24 hr traffic noise. Don't miss the US at all. I don't think I've ever eaten malt loaf. What temp do you bake it at? I'm stuck only baking pound cakes & the like as my toaster oven is stuck at 325F PERMANENTLY.

Polyester Princess said...

I don't think I ever had malt loaf. We do have a Lawnmower man too, but at least he doesn't garden by night ... xxx

Goody said...

@Beth
When he takes the mower through the drive-up lane at the bank it will be time to take the keys (I've seen that one).
I made the kid observe a moment of silence facing East at 11 AM.

@Bibi
I have now corrected the omission of temperature (oops). I think it would do OK at 325-just bake it longer. Glass pans always have to bake lower anyway. You have to admit, 325 is a good temperature to have it stuck at as far as usefulness goes.

@Ann
It has an earthy quality-the malt loaf, not the lawnmower man.