My Mom-in-law Brenda May used to make the cricketers tea for the team my brother in law played for. The house smelt of home baking for a couple of days before 'the match', one of her recipes was for Tea Bread. It's a family favourite and a very simple fat free, flexible recipe. I mix it by hand as you will not need a mixer. I made some today and I'd like to share the recipe with you. Ideally, start the mix a day before baking to allow the fruit to 'plump up' overnight if possible.
Brenda-May's Tea Bread
Ingredients for a 1Lb loaf
1 cup of black tea. (I use hot freshly brewed)*
1 cup of sugar
1 cup of any dried fruit
(I used sultanas, currents and candid peel)
2 cups of SR flour
(OR for the US
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt)1 egg
Place the dried fruit, sugar and tea into a mixing bowl, mix together. Cover and leave overnight if possible, but even an hour or two would do.
(After the overnight soak, nice plump fruit)
Then, next day line a loaf tin with enough silicon paper or foil to lift over the mixture to form a loose 'tent' to prevent burning.
Give the fruit mixture a stir and add the flour and egg,
then mix to amalgamate the ingredients well.
Pour into the lined loaf tin
then lift up the excess lining and make a loose 'tent' to prevent burning
and bake for approx 1 hour (checking after 30 minutes) at 180 Deg. C, 375 Deg F, or Gas 5. The loaf is cooked when a skewer** comes out clean. (** no skewer? Use a dry spaghetti stick!)
Lift out the bread with the liner and place on a baking tray to cool.
Slice and serve warm or cold
or, as we do and butter - lovely with a cuppa :o)
Store in an air tight container. It keeps and freezes well.
* I make three times this amount at a time as I have 3 tins! I halve the sugar (I'm diabetic). I use half wholemeal and half white flour. I have posted this recipe on an American site and it has been adapted to use with other fruits such as cranberries and fruit teas. I have also added a couple of chopped plums that were left in the fruit bowl.....as I stated a VERY flexible recipe! They also dared to just grease the tin and not 'tent' over the top without it catching, but I wouldn't dare to as my oven can be unpredictable.
Hope you make it and enjoy it :o)
Best wishes to all, happy baking!
07th June 2011
I've just found a photo of Tea Bread made with all white flour, looks different again!