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How to Make Fruit Bread

The steps for how to make fruit bread at home are easy beginning with flour, a packet of yeast, white sugar, and a box of golden raisins.

If you are into fruit bread, have always wondered how to make fruit bread, or have never tasted fruit bread but are open to trying it, you are in the correct spot. How to make fruit bread at home is easy once equipped with some all-purpose flour, bread flour, a packet of instant yeast, and a box of golden raisins. I’m also offering a fabulous sandwich idea for enjoying this bread once you’ve baked it.

With gratitude and appreciation, this recipe courtesy of Stephanie Jaworski of The Joy of Baking, also known fondly in this household as the person who taught ME how to bake!

a slice of fruit bread, with raisins

All images and text ©Jenny DeRemer for Not Entirely Average, LLC

The images of fruit bread conjure different reactions in almost everybody. Many embrace it, others squirm at the idea of it, and there are some who can’t tell you if they’ve ever tasted it.

As a kid, I recall both fruit bread and fruit cake being enjoyed around the holidays. My grandparents were huge into the fruity flavor of a braided Stollen or dense cake laden with dry fruits, orange peel, and whiskey.

There are fruit bread recipes that call for yeast and then there are quick breads oftentimes referred to as fruit breads which do not require yeast. I classify the latter as fruit cake versus fruit bread for the purposes of this post. Today, I am making a fruit bread with yeast as a specification.

a loaf of fruit bread, with cut slices and raisins

Ingredients for Making Fruit Bread

for the fruit bread

  • all-purpose flour
  • bread flour
  • instant yeast or active dry yeast
  • granulated sugar
  • cinnamon
  • Kosher salt
  • milk
  • unsalted butter
  • an egg
  • golden raisins or a mixture of raisins and dried cherries, cranberries, or currants
  • candied lemon peel of candied orange peel

for the egg wash

  • egg yolk
  • heavy cream
an egg wash, with egg shells

What Fruit Mixture is Used for Fruit Bread?

Any easy fruit bread recipe (and most fruited quick bread recipes) usually begins with raisins. Use what resonates with your eaters. Today, I am using a box of golden raisins (sultanas), and candied orange peel which you can source here.

Consider adding nuts if you like. Pine nuts are a fabulous accompaniment to all types of dried and candied fruits. Almonds, walnuts, and pecans give the finished bake a nut bread texture with a sweet fruit bread flavor.

candied orange peel in a bowl, with a wooden tray

What Equipment is Needed to Make Fruit Bread?

I could not get through the kneading requirement in this method without the use of my stand mixer. If you enjoy kneading, have at it by hand and add some girth to those biceps.

You will need a large bowl for the dough rise, a clean tea towel or plastic wrap for covering the dough during the rise, a baking pan or loaf pan (lined with parchment paper if you prefer), a wire rack for cooling, and family members to help you gobble up the spoils!

a loaf of fruit bread, with raisins

How Is Fruit Bread Meant to Be Enjoyed?

For something outside the box, assemble a real old-fashioned British style “Doorstep” sandwich by placing two thick slices of fruit bread on a baking sheet. Add a thick slice of room temperature cheddar on one half, and apricot chutney and scant sweet whole grain mustard on the other.

Broil BRIEFLY but not quite until melted or bubbly, just soft, then smash them together. Et viola, a Doorstep. This is possibly among my favorite sandwiches of all time, so do give it a try if you assemble this bread.

Fruit bread also lends itself to a fantastic bread pudding base much like Panettone and makes a mean French toast. It can be enjoyed sliced while warm with a simple cup of tea or toasted and brushed lightly with melted butter.

a baking dish, with warm Pumpkin Pecan Bread Pudding
Fruit bread is fabulous as a base for bread puddings and also overnight French toast casseroles. The Pumpkin Pecan Bread Pudding with Warm Cinnamon Syrup pictured above can be made using this fruit bread with additional dried and candied fruits added if you like. Source this EXCELLENT baking dish here.

How to Make Fruit Bread?

  • Before You Begin place the dried fruit in a bowl and cover with warm water. Let sit for 15 to 20 minutes or until the fruit is soft. Drain and pat dry. Add the candied peel, stir and set aside.
  • Lightly grease a standard loaf pan with baking spray. You may choose to use parchment paper across the narrow width of the pan for easy removal if you like. Set aside.
a wooden spoon, with dried raisins
  • Step One. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, place the flours, yeast, sugar, ground cinnamon, and salt and stir to combine.
  • Activate the yeast by adding the milk, butter, and egg.
  • Knead the dough on 1st speed for four minutes. Increase your mixer speed to 2nd speed and continue to knead the dough for about 4 to 6 minutes or until the dough is smooth, elastic, and not too sticky.
  • Place the dough into a separate lightly oiled bowl, turning the dough once, so the top is dually lightly oiled. I use two teaspoons of vegetable oil for this and coat the entire inside of the bowl using my pastry brush which ensures it’s completely coated, but very thinly.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until almost doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours. Another tip to ensuring a successful rise is to place the bowl of dough into your off oven with only the light on, as the heat from the oven light alone is enough to hasten the yeast.
dough being kneaded by a dough hook
  • Step Two. Once doubled in size, remove the dough to a lightly floured surface and form into a rectangle. Sprinkle the swollen fruit and candied peel and nuts if using over the surface. Knead until the fruit is incorporated into the dough.
  • Form the dough into a rectangle. Take the short edge of the rectangle and fold the dough lengthwise into thirds, like you’re folding a letter. Make sure the edges of the dough are straight and even.
  • Turn the dough over so the seam is now underneath. With your palms, gently roll the dough back and forth until it’s the length of your loaf pan.
  • This action requires a light touch as you aren’t needing to roll it into a log, rather just enough pressure to achieve the length which may mean only a few rolls. Place the log of dough into your pan, seam side down.
  • Cover the loaf pan loosely with plastic wrap that you’ve sprayed lightly with baking spray. Proof the dough at room temperature for about 1 hour or until the dough rises almost to the rim of your loaf pan. Again, an off oven may be used for this task.
fluffy bread, with fruit
For me, this bread is PERFECT for smearing some salty butter to enjoy with the contrasting cinnamon, dried raisins, and subtle sweet orange in every bite.
  • Step Three. Preheat your oven to 375°F. In a small bowl, whisk an egg yolk with heavy cream. Once again, reach for a pastry brush.
  • Remove the plastic wrap and brush the top of the bread generously with the egg wash but not so much that it pools along the sides of the pan. Bake for about 30 – 35 minutes, turning halfway through, or until your bread is golden brown.
  • Remove from oven and place the pan on a wire rack to cool for a couple of minutes. Use an instant-read thermometer to gauge the internal temperature of the bread. It should read on or about 195°F.
a loaf of fruit bread, with slices cut
  • Step Four. Gently remove the bread from the pan, placing the bread top side up on a wire rack. Let cool completely before cutting.
  • Baking the dough at a high heat creates the flavorful product we know to be bread, while removal from the element in which it was baked, and cooling time is necessary for evaporation of steam which accumulates during the bake.
  • Step Five. For storing and for leftovers, well wrapped, the bread is fine at room temperature for 3 to 4 days. It may also be frozen for up to 3 months by wrapping first tightly in plastic wrap, then tightly in heavy gauge aluminum foil, and loaded into a freezer-safe plastic bag.
a slice of fruit bread, with raisins

FAQs & Tips

Do I Have to Use All Raisins in Fruit Bread?

No, use any combination of dried fruit you like. If the pieces are large, soak them before chopping into smaller pieces.

Can This Be Baked in Smaller Pans?

I have not tested this recipe in smaller, giftable paper bread pans. Should you try it, I would not divide the dough into anything smaller than two halves. Also, baking time will be significantly reduced.

Can This Bread be Frozen?

For storing and for leftovers, well wrapped, the bread is fine at room temperature for 3 to 4 days. It may also be frozen for up to 3 months by wrapping first tightly in plastic wrap, then tightly in heavy gauge aluminum foil, and loaded into a freezer-safe plastic bag.

featured image for how to make fruit bread

How to Make Fruit Bread

Jenny from Not Entirely Average
The steps for how to make fruit bread at home are easy, beginning with flour, a packet of yeast, white sugar, and a box of golden raisins.
No ratings yet
Servings: 12 servings or 1 loaf
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Bread
Cuisine American, Southern
Servings 12 servings or 1 loaf
Calories 202 kcal

Equipment

  • 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 3-inch loaf pan
  • stand mixer with dough hook attachment
  • large mixing bowl
  • pastry brush

Ingredients
 

for the bread

  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup bread flour
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 2/3 cup MINUS 1 tablespoon milk room temperature: I use whole milk but you may use 2% also
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter softened to room temperature
  • 1 large egg room temperature
  • 1 cup golden raisins or any combination dried fruit to equal 1 cup
  • 2 tablespoons candied orange or lemon peel

for the egg wash

  • 1 large egg yolk room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream room temperature

Instructions
 

  • Place the dried fruit in a bowl and cover with warm water. Let sit for 15 to 20 minutes or until the fruit is soft. Drain and pat dry. Add the candied peel, stir and set aside. Lightly grease a standard loaf pan with baking spray. You may choose to use parchment paper across the narrow width of the pan for easy removal if you like. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, place the flours, yeast, sugar, ground cinnamon, and salt and stir to combine. Activate the yeast by adding the milk, butter, and egg. Knead the dough on 1st speed for four minutes. Increase your mixer speed to 2nd speed and continue to knead the dough for about 4 to 6 minutes or until the dough is smooth, elastic, and not too sticky.
  • Place the dough into a separate lightly oiled bowl, turning the dough once, so the top is dually lightly oiled. I use two teaspoons of vegetable oil for this and coat the entire inside of the bowl using my pastry brush which ensures it's completely coated, but very thinly. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until almost doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours. Another tip to ensuring a successful rise is to place the bowl of dough into your off oven with only the light on, as the heat from the oven light alone is enough to hasten the yeast.
  • Once doubled in size, remove the dough to a lightly floured surface and form into a rectangle. Sprinkle the swollen fruit and candied peel and nuts if using over the surface. Knead until the fruit is incorporated into the dough. Form the dough into a rectangle. Take the short edge of the rectangle and fold the dough lengthwise into thirds, like you're folding a letter. Make sure the edges of the dough are straight and even.
  • Turn the dough over so the seam is now underneath. With your palms, gently roll the dough back and forth until it's the length of your loaf pan. This action requires a light touch as you aren’t needing to roll it into a log, rather just enough pressure to achieve the length which may mean only a few rolls. Place the log of dough into your pan, seam side down. Cover the loaf pan loosely with plastic wrap that you’ve sprayed lightly with baking spray. Proof the dough at room temperature for about 1 hour or until the dough rises almost to the rim of your loaf pan. Again, an off oven may be used for this task.
  • Preheat your oven to 375°F. In a small bowl, whisk an egg yolk with heavy cream. Remove the plastic wrap and brush the top of the bread generously with the egg wash but not so much that it pools along the sides of the pan. Bake for about 30 – 35 minutes, turning halfway through, or until your bread is golden brown.
  • Remove from oven and place the pan on a wire rack to cool for a couple of minutes. Use an instant-read thermometer to gauge the internal temperature of the bread. It should read on or about 195°F.
  • Gently remove the bread from the pan, placing the bread top side up on a wire rack. Let cool completely before cutting.

Notes

Please Note that table salt and iodized salt are NOT substitutions for Kosher salt. Do not use table salt or iodized salt in any of the recipes you find on Not Entirely Average UNLESS specified otherwise.
Storing and Leftovers, well wrapped, the bread is fine at room temperature for 3 to 4 days.
To Freeze for up to 3 months, wrap first tightly in plastic wrap, then tightly in heavy gauge aluminum foil, and loaded into a freezer-safe plastic bag.
A Sandwich Idea Using This Fruit Bread assemble a real old-fashioned British style “Doorstep” sandwich by placing two thick slices of fruit bread on a baking sheet. Add a thick slice of room temperature sharp aged cheddar on one half, and apricot chutney and scant sweet whole grain mustard on the other. Broil BRIEFLY but ONLY until not quite melted or bubbly, then smash them together. The Doorstep Sandwich.

Nutrition

Serving: 1sliceCalories: 202kcalCarbohydrates: 33gProtein: 5gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.5gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 44mgSodium: 212mgPotassium: 163mgFiber: 2gSugar: 12gVitamin A: 200IUVitamin C: 0.4mgCalcium: 34mgIron: 1mg
Keyword cinnamon raisin bread, fruit bread
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