If you don't have a pet sourdough starter of your own, you can use the instructions here to create one.  It's really simple but don't be disheartened if it dies - I'm currently on my fourth starter and I'm sure it was nothing I did that led to the deaths of the previous ones.  Hmmm maybe my parents knew what they were doing when they wouldn't buy me a puppy.

This tea bread is sweetened by the addition of glace fruit and is a great mid-afternoon snack especially when served with butter.

Day 1 - evening

  • 50 grams sourdough starter
  • 100 grams organic whole spelt flour
  • 100 millilitres mineral water
  • 25 grams mixed peel
  • 75 grams sultanas
  • 200 millilitres cold black tea
  • Mix together the sourdough starter, spelt flour and water in a bowl and leave at room temperature.  This is known as the ferment.
  • In a separate bowl soak the mixed peel and sultanas in the cold tea and leave at room temperature.
Day 2 - morning

  • 40 grams stem ginger in syrup - chopped
  • 80 grams glace cherries - chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 150 grams organic whole rye flour
  • Reserving the tea, drain the peel and sultanas and place in a large mixing bowl.
  • Add 100 millilitres of the tea to the bowl.  If you have insufficient tea, make up the difference using mineral water.  Discard any excess tea.
  • Add the ferment to the mixing bowl.
  • Add the stem ginger, glace cherries, salt and rye flour.
  • Combine all of the ingredients and mix well.
  • Using a Kitchen Aid with the dough hook attachment, kneed the mixture for 15 minutes on a medium setting.
  • Cover the bowl with a tea towel and set aside for two hours or until the mixture has doubled in size.
  • Grease a 1 pound loaf tin with light tasting vegetable oil.
  • Add the loaf mixture to the tin and smooth with a palette knife.  Leave to rise until it reaches the top of the tin.  This will take in the region of 1 hour.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 220 Centigrade.
  • Place the loaf tin in the oven on the middle shelf.  Fill a baking tray with water and place this on a lower shelf to create steam.  Bake for 35 minutes or until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.    During this time, add more water if the baking tray is drying out.
  • Leave the loaf to cool in the tin for five minutes.
  • Carefully remove the loaf from the tin and leave it to cool on a wire rack.
  • Once cool, wrap in greaseproof paper and leave to rest for a day (it tends to have a weird gummy texture on the day of baking).
Day 3
  • Your loaf is ready to eat.


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