Lincolnshire Plum Bread: A Fabulous Festive Fruit Bread and Random Recipe

Lincolnshire Plum Bread: A Fabulous Festive Fruit Bread and Random Recipe

Lincolnshire Plum Bread: A Fabulous Festive Fruit Bread and Random Recipe

Lincolnshire Plum Bread:

A Fabulous Festive Fruit Bread and Random Recipe

Lincolnshire Plum Bread: A Fabulous Festive Fruit Bread and Random Recipe

Lincolnshire Plum Bread: A Fabulous Festive Fruit Bread and Random Recipe

One of the comments I see lots of new bloggers saying over and over again, is how do they get noticed and generate comments as well as engage with the rest of the blogging community on their blogs; well, I felt just the same when I started last year – I plugged away everyday, writing and sharing recipes with lots of photos, and I received the sum token of NO comments with traffic peaking at about 20 to 30 visits a day! It’s demoralising and enough to stop anyone writing – but, I didn’t stop, I carried on doing what I love best, writing, taking photos and creating (as well as sharing) delicious recipes, it became like a daily diary for me, which is why I still tend to post every day even now. I became isolated in my little “blogging world” and only wrote for me, which, is  just fine too of course. But, if you DO want to engage in the food blogging world and become well-known, then you can’t just sit in your “ivory tower” as I did for the first few months, lamenting the lack of comments and feeling unloved and unnoticed,  you have to GO out there and ENGAGE with other bloggers too! It’s simple when you think about it, who is going to notice you, no matter how good you may be, when there are THOUSANDS of already well established and popular blogs out there? Rhetorical question I know, but a valid one nevertheless.

England's Heritage Food and Cooking Book

My Random Recipe book this month was: England’s Heritage Food and Cooking Book

So, I started to read more blogs, and I discovered lots of new and interesting ones, as well as some lovely people – they then started to “notice” me, and all of a sudden my comments page was filling up daily, plus my traffic increased! One of the other things that I noticed, after I left the confines of my own little world, were  Blogging Challenges; food and recipe events (usually run monthly) hosted by other food bloggers, events where you could join in and share your recipes and thoughts. One of the FIRST challenges I discovered was Random Recipes, hosted and run by the Dashing Dom over at Belleau Kitchen, so I JUMPED right in with both feet and joined up! The rest is history, as they say, and I still enter his challenge every month, as it remains one of my favourites, along with my own two challenges of course - Tea Time Treats and Herbs on Saturday.  I am digressing from the matter in hand I know, but the point I am making is this, if you want to be noticed then JOIN IN with the rest of the community! And so back to today, and my random recipe, Lincolnshire Plum Bread, which is my entry to Dom’s Random Recipes #22 Random Birthday Number challenge for November.

Lincolnshire Plum Bread: A Fabulous Festive Fruit Bread and Random Recipe

Lincolnshire Plum Bread: A Fabulous Festive Fruit Bread and Random Recipe

Dom asked us to refer to our birthday date as the number we should use to randomly to pick our book – my fingers didn’t have to do much walking along my bookcase before I came upon my random book, as it was number five, my birthday is the 5th of May, so number five it was, which, was England’s Heritage Food and Cooking Book, and a favourite book of mine, so I was very pleased! Opening the page randomly fell on page 232, which revealed a recipe I had been planning to make for the last two to three months, Lincolnshire Plum Bread; curiously enough, the recipe originates from Lincolnshire, where Dom and the Viking live! Kismet! 

Lincolnshire Plum Bread: A Fabulous Festive Fruit Bread and Random Recipe

Lincolnshire Plum Bread: A Fabulous Festive Fruit Bread and Random Recipe

When it came to following the recipe, I must admit to going a little “off piste” as I wanted to try out a recipe that I found on a scrap of paper, that was hidden in an old cookbook that I bought from a second-hand book shop; so, I combined the two recipes and the result was FOUR luscious fruited loaves, one for now and three for Christmas, as I popped the remaining three loaves into the freezer! This recipe has been claimed as my own now, as I was DELIGHTED with the results of  my mix-and-match recipe techniques, and the three remaining loaves will come in handy for the festive tea time table, as well as gifts too.

Lincolnshire Plum Bread: A Fabulous Festive Fruit Bread and Random Recipe

Lincolnshire Plum Bread: A Fabulous Festive Fruit Bread and Random Recipe

Lincolnshire Plum Bread  is traditionally baked for Christmas in Lincolnshire, although you will see it all year round in Bakeries throughout the region. It is a delicious when served warm with butter, or with a slice of cheese, similar to the Yorkshire way of serving Christmas Cake.  Served today as a breakfast bread, or with tea, this regional speciality probably dates back many centuries, the clue being the use of the word plum to describe the dried fruits used in the product.  Just as with plum pudding or plum cake, the plums mentioned in this recipe alludes to the dried fruit used in the bread, namely currants, raisins and sultanas. Whatever the history behind this fruited bread, all I know is that is gorgeous, and I love the slightly heavy consistency as well as the spice scented crumb, richly studded with fruit and peel. Think brioche, but heavier and with spice and fruit, and you have an idea of what this sweet bread is like. The recipe I am sharing below is my own concoction, but I was punctilious in my random selection of the recipe, so I hope Dom approves! That’s all for now, do call back later for more random musings, recipes and other lovely stuff I have to share with you! Happy Thanksgiving to all my chums across the pond, and see you all later, Karen

Lincolnshire Plum Bread: A Fabulous Festive Fruit Bread and Random Recipe

Lincolnshire Plum Bread: A Fabulous Festive Fruit Bread and Random Recipe

Lincolnshire Plum Bread

Serves 4 x Loaves
Prep time 4 hours
Cook time 1 hour
Total time 5 hours
Allergy Egg, Milk, Wheat
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Bread, Breakfast, Side Dish, Snack
Misc Child Friendly, Freezable, Serve Cold
Occasion Casual Party, Christmas, Formal Party, Halloween, Thanksgiving
Region British
By author Karen S Burns-Booth
This fabulous fruited loaf is traditionally baked for Christmas in Lincolnshire, although you will see it all year round in Bakeries throughout the region. It is a delicious when served warm with butter, or with a slice of cheese, similar to the Yorkshire way of serving Christmas Cake. Served today as a breakfast bread, or with tea, this regional speciality probably dates back many centuries, the clue being the use of the word plum to describe the dried fruits used in the product. Just as with plum pudding or plum cake, the plums mentioned in this recipe alludes to the dried fruit used in the bread, namely currants, raisins and sultanas.

Ingredients

  • 110 grams (4 oz) lard or white vegetable fat (I used Trex)
  • 110 grams (4 oz) butter
  • 900 grams (2 lb) strong white bread flour
  • 25 grams (1 oz) yeast (or 1 x 7g packet of fast action dried yeast)
  • 350 grams (12 oz) soft brown sugar (or a mixture of white and brown sugar)
  • 900 grams (2lb) mixed dried fruit and peel (I used Sainsbury's mixed dried fruit and peel)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons mixed spice (or 1 teaspoon of allspice and 1 teaspoon of mixed spice)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • milk to mix

Note

This fabulous fruited loaf is traditionally baked for Christmas in Lincolnshire, although you will see it all year round in Bakeries throughout the region. It is a delicious when served warm with butter, or with a slice of cheese, similar to the Yorkshire way of serving Christmas Cake.  Served today as a breakfast bread, or with tea, this regional speciality probably dates back many centuries, the clue being the use of the word plum to describe the dried fruits used in the product.  Just as with plum pudding or plum cake, the plums mentioned in this recipe alludes to the dried fruit used in the bread, namely currants, raisins and sultanas.

Directions

Step 1 Rub the fats into the flour and add in the salt and ground spices.
Step 2 If using fresh yeast, mix the yeast with a little water and sugar and allow it to bubble and "work", it will be frothy when it is ready to use.
Step 3 Add the dried mixed fruit (and peel) along with the sugar to the flour mixture. Then add the yeast mixture (or the packet of dried yeast if using), eggs and a little milk and mix into a soft dough.
Step 4 Knead the mixture well, for at least 10 to 15 minutes and then allow it to rise for up to three hours in a warm place, covered with a tea towel or an oiled plastic bag. (Or shower cap)
Step 5 Grease 4 x 450g (1lb) loaf tins and divide the mixture equally between them, then leave the dough to rise in a warm place, covered, until they have almost doubled in size.
Step 6 Bake the loaves in a preheated oven at 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6 for 40 minutes to 1 hour, depending on your oven, it can vary.
Step 7 The loaves are cooked when they are well risen, light brown and they sound hollow when tapped underneath. Allow them to cool slightly in the tins, before removing them to a wire rack, allow to cool completely and then store them in an airtight container, or wrap them in cling film and foil and freeze them.
Step 8 Slice and serve warm with butter, or a slice of cheese is also traditional to serve with slices of this Lincolnshire Plum Bread, similar to a slice of Christmas Cake.
Lincolnshire Plum Bread: A Fabulous Festive Fruit Bread and Random Recipe

Lincolnshire Plum Bread: A Fabulous Festive Fruit Bread and Random Recipe

Lincolnshire Plum Bread: A Fabulous Festive Fruit Bread and Random Recipe

Lincolnshire Plum Bread: A Fabulous Festive Fruit Bread and Random Recipe

Lincoln Cathedral

Lincoln Cathedral

As this is bread, I am also entering it into Bake Your Own Bread, a fabulous monthly challenge, which is being hosted by Heather from Girlichef and Connie from My Discovery of Bread this month! 

Plus, Laura’s theme for Calendar Cakes for November is BREAD, so I am entering this into her Calendar Cakes challenge this month! 

I am entering this British Classic into the Best of British – sponsored by New World Appliances and hosted by the delectable Fiona over at London Unattached!

Best of British Master

What is your favourite yeast bread?

Do you make breads as well as cakes for Christmas?

Comments

        • says

          Will pop over this weekend, I have been run ragged this week! I used to live near Lincoln when I as was little, in North Hykeham, and mum and dad used to take me to see the Lincoln imp sometimes! Karen

  1. says

    How funny, this is such good timing – I have been looking through my cookbooks for a Lincolnshire Plum fruit bread over the past few days. A friend gave me a slice of a shop-bought version and while it was very nice, I thought “hey, I could do better” – so I shall give this a try.

    And talking of timing – this is the first month I am going to enter Dom’s Random Recipes – yayyyy!

  2. says

    what an absolutely delightful and charming blog post. It’s so nice to think about those times when we all first started out in the blog world. I think a lot of people think it’s going to be easy and fast and they don’t realise how much hard work you have to put into the whole thing… but not only is it rewarding to receive comments, it’s lovely to build the community around you and ‘meet’ all these lovely souls out there who have the same passion as you… beautiful plum loaf… I do find it very freaky that that was your pick… KISMET, like you say… GLORIOUS!!! and thank you again for taking part in such spectacular fashion xx

    • says

      Thanks Dom! I just got thinking how it was before I discovered you and RR, as well as all of the other wonderful cooking challenges, and how much it opened up my world afterwards.

      Blogging is not easy and it does take time, plus, you bare your soul every time you post…..but, I love it and I always look forward to that quiet time of the day when I can write my post, share my photos and recipes.

      I did shout out “YAY” when my page opened at the plum bread, and Malcolm had to ask if I was okay……:-)

      Here’s to you and RR!

      Karen

  3. says

    Karen, I always love reading your blog posts and you are spot on.
    The bread looks delicious, and I do hope I can get the celebration cake done for your tea time treats this month as well as Dashing Dom’s random recipe challenge! I do hope to see you soon xx

    • says

      Thanks Nazima, and you know I count you as one of my first and best blogging friends, and I still remember how lovely it was when we met up last year, with Jude at the V and A!
      Karen

  4. says

    This is a lovely post Karen. First of all, your bread looks delicious – I love fruity bread! Secondly, it’s so interesting to read how you started to get the ball rolling when blogging. It’s good advice indeed. Also, I had not heard of The Random Recipe Challenge – it sounds like great fun and something I would love to contribute to. I don’t need much of an excuse to revisit old cook books so I am definitely up for this in December. Thanks so much for the tips x

    • says

      Merci Anneli! I am so pleased that you found my post interesting, and also liked the recipe; it just occurred to me as I was writing my post, how my world was opened up by commenting on other people’s blogs and joining in with recipe challenges. That’s one of the reasons I decided to set up Tea Time Treats with my friend Kate and also host Herbs on Saturday too. Karen

  5. says

    What a lovely post Karen- you are absolutely right with everything you say and as someone who puts so much work into their recipes, writing and photography for your readers, your advice is invaluable for new bloggers. And what a treat of a recipe- fruited loaf is one of my favourite tea time treats!

    • says

      Thanks so much Kate! I love what you and I do together for Tea Time Treats and I know you enjoy the challenge too…..it opened up so much for us and thanks for your lovely comments! Karen

  6. says

    What a lovely loaf…I do love a good fruit loaf…particularly toasted and buttered with a cup of tea!!! And yes…it most certainly counts as a loaf you can enter into Calendar Cakes…there’s always room for a fruit loaf and one of your fab creations!!! :-)

  7. says

    Mama mia this bread looks absolutley gorgeous. That’s the good news, the bad news is that between the fussy members of my family some don’t do dried fruit & some don’t do mixed peel so I’d be sitting there eating this with perhaps just my son – but it won’t stop me salivating over your fabulous pics. Like you write up on blogging too and hadn’t realised you only started last year – wow and you’re so big so to speak! Well done:-)

    • says

      Thanks Camilla! What a shame you cannot indulge in this fruited loaf, never mind, maybe a small loaf made just for you could be a tea time treat some time in the future when you are baking. Yes, I started blogging last June, but, I was a food writer (published) before then, and only started the blog when the magazine I wrote for every month closed down….so, blogging was a way to carry on with cooking and writing in a creative way! Karen

  8. says

    Oddly enough my entry for the RR challenge last month was Lincolnshire plum bread as well. Dom might be fearing a takeover bid. Your recipe looks lovely. I must admit that I’m getting quite a taste for this particular fruit bread. It does go very well with a little cheese on a gloomy, cold day.

    • says

      Thanks Phil. I remember you posting a Lincolnshire Plum Bread recipe, as I commented on it, but didn’t realise that it was a RR recipe, well I must have at the time but subsequently forgot! I absolutely love this heavy fruited and spiced bread and I think this could be my new Christmas cake, as I much prefer it to cake. The remaining three loaves are nestled in the freezer waiting for the festive season. Karen

  9. says

    Wow. I am taken aback that you only started blogging last year. I’d always assumed that you were an old hand who had been doing this for ages as you seem so professional and are obviously very good at what you do. Well done for making such a success of Lavender and Lovage in such a short space of time. And a great blog post BTW.

    • says

      Thanks so much, I did write for money before I started my blog though, I was, and still am, a free-lance food writer…….but, thanks so much for your lovely comments, Karen

  10. says

    I do still forget sometimes how your blog has only been going for just over a year. How you have taken off is incredible really. But, it is all deserved as you put so much into your posts and photography and I always learn something new from every post.
    This is just the sort of loaf I could fancy tucking into at this time of the year, such a good old Lincolnshire fruit loaf. Perfect :)x

    • says

      Thanks so much for your lovely comments Laura, you, and everyone else, have made my day! This plum bread is also good by the way………proper lush! Karen

  11. says

    What a wonderful fruity bread – perfect for tea and breakie! Your photos are just so appetizing too! And what a spot-on post regarding building a following and a circle of Internet friends! My blog has gone through stages … sometimes there are groups of new followers who are quick to give me comment feedback, then there are stages when people read silently without writing a word. There are always a few of my friends that check in with a comment or two … and I adore those the most. As for increasing readers, I have become quite passive. I go about my business and join challenges here and there that interest me. I comment and chat with folks who have become dear to me and let the rest flow by … my blog is really a food diary and family chronicle for my friends and family. My children always want me to ‘tell stories’ as a way for them to have a documented bit of family history … I love that. The rest is just what I’m thinking and feeling and yearning for or ranting about … ah the beauty of self-publishing!

    • says

      Thanks Susan, I do agree that blogs have phases, and sometimes I am inundated with comments and then other times there are just one or two, that’s the way it goes…….and that is fine too! I think I still write predominately for me, as you say, the beauty of being self-published and no editors to please! And again, yes, increased readership is not as important it me as it may have been when I first started, I like you, go about my business and write for enjoyment, and cook etc……Karen

  12. says

    I must confess to having never had plum bread, but your images of it look delightful, and I do like things that are like brioche. Any substitute for the lard/Trex? Do you think butter would work?

  13. says

    It’s funny, despite being Lincolnshire born and bred (and back living there now) I’ve only made Lincolnshire Plum Bread a handful of times. It’s something that I really should make more often, it’s delicious and fantastic toasted.

    I understand about the comments. They’re as much a part of blogging as the actual post writing for me, to have a conversation and see the community grow. Mine goes through phases, sometimes it’s quiet and sometimes not. It can be a little unsettling when they seem to die off though.

    • says

      Thanks so much Sian, and I am pleased that my Lincolnshire plum bread holds up to a local lass! My comments are the same too. Feast or famine, but I do like to interact with my readers, so, comments mean a lot to me still! Karen

  14. says

    Oh Karen, you did so well with your meteoric rise in the blogging world, I think my blog had been going at least a year before it got as many as 30 page views a day! I’m not surprised, blog success is multi-factored and not down to any one thing, but whatever the mix is, you have certainly hit it. And your loaves look absolutely scrumptious.

    • says

      Thanks Choclette, I don’t know why my blog shot up so quickly, I can only hope that is because My readers like my recipes and what I write! But thanks for your lovely comments, Karen :-)

  15. says

    What a lovely bread! I must admit that I usually neglect bread for the Christmas feast as there is so much else on the table. With your lovely loaf in mind, I will try to do better this year.

  16. Lesley Bain says

    This sounds really lovely :) I might give this a try in my breadmaker…sadly my baking skills are sorely lacking so I know if I do it in the oven it will go horribly wrong! :D x

  17. Tilly Lander says

    Okay, I admit it! I only came across this post because you wanted me to comment on a recipe as part of a giveaway competition … BUT I’m so glad I did :-) The introduction immediately struck a chord as I have toyed with blogging for a while but pondered the question of how to attract readers without any major conclusions. Reading your comments provided a (rather obvious, really) eureka moment. Thank you! I will make time to find, read and interact with other Bloggers and, who knows, I might just get my own blog up and running in the New Year. That sounds quite like a Resolution taking shape.

    The recipe itself? Sounds scrumptious and had been bookmarked to try out over the Christmas period. I have planned to put on a lovely homemade spread when my family all descend on Boxing day and this will be perfect for the occasion. I smiled at the reference to adding cheese to serve :-) My Mum is a Yorkshirewoman and I have been brought up loving a slice to eat with with my Christmas cake. It really is delicious. Thank you for the recipe and Merry Christmas!

    • says

      Thanks so much for taking the time to post such a wonderful response – you have me sussed! It was my attempt to interact with all those people who enter my contests, and I never get to know! But, I have had so many lovely responses, yours included, that I am glad that I asked for comments!

      I hope you enjoy this festive plum bread if you make it, and do let me know, or ask if there are any tips I can share.

      Merry Christmas, Karen

      • Tilly Lander says

        Hehehe :) Great ruse to get us lazy readers interacting … A stroke of genius!

        I went from Cambridge to Wigan today in the pouring rain (relentless) to watch a football match and passed a huge Sainbury’s as we drove back towards the M6. You’ll be pleased to know that I popped in to get Lard and Dried Fruits, lol. You see! We might not talk much but you are having a positive effect on at least one of us :-) xx

  18. Genevieve S says

    I have been meaning to experiment with fruit bread for a long time now, this looks absolutely delicious and reasonably simple too! Love the blog :)

  19. Fiona Matters says

    Looks lovely – I haven’t been brave enough to try sweet bread yet – however with Easter coming up I guess I’m going to have to start getting stuck in soon! Shared on g+

  20. Fiona Matters says

    These look gorgeous – I think I have just about cracked normal bread – so I’m going to have a go at these soon. Not sure if it will be this week or next – but soon. I love sweet bread.

  21. Maya Russell says

    I like fruit bread and butter for breakfast or for a quick snack. The England’s Heritage Food & Cooking book looks interesting.

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