Orange-Spiced Fruit Bread

  • Active Time 35m
  • Total Time 24h

1 large loaf, 14 slices

Orange zest, aniseed and allspice, along with honey, lend this full-bodied fruit bread an intriguing flavor. The medley of three dried fruits gives it a chewy texture, eye-catching color and healthful fiber. For a festive look, the bread is baked in a tube pan: a 10-cup Bundt, Kugelhopf or other pan with a center tube and decorative shape is ideal. This bread is nice as a snack or, when drizzled with the sugar glaze, as a dessert or fine companion to tea. Recipe by Nancy Baggett for EatingWell.

Make Ahead Tip: Wrap airtight and keep at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 2 months. | Equipment: 10-cup Bundt (or similar) pan


  • For Bread:
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried figs
  • 2 cups unbleached bread flour (see Note) or unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
  • 1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon aniseed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons instant, quick-rising or bread-machine yeast
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons table salt
  • 1 1/4 cups ice water (see Tip), plus more as needed
  • 6 tablespoons clover honey or other mild honey
  • 1/4 cup mild molasses (not blackstrap)
  • 2 tablespoons corn oil, canola oil or other flavorless vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
  • For Soaking Syrup:
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons clover honey or other mild honey
  • For Optional Glaze:
  • 1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 2-3 teaspoons orange juice
  • Note: Milled from high-protein wheats, bread flour develops strong gluten, resulting in well-risen loaves. It helps give breads with a high percentage of whole grains better structure and a lighter texture. Find it near other flours in most supermarkets.

  • Tips: To prepare "ice water" for this recipe, add a heaping cup of ice cubes to cold water and stir for about 30 seconds before measuring out the water.

  • You can turn your microwave into a warm, moist environment to help accelerate the second rise of the bread dough. Begin by microwaving 1/2 cup water in a 1-cup glass measure just to boiling. Set the water in one corner of the microwave, place the pan of dough on the other side of the turned-off microwave and close the door. The dough will double in size in 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours.


Mix dough: Soak the raisins, cranberries and figs in hot water for 10 minutes; drain well and let cool to barely warm. Thoroughly stir 2 cups bread (or all-purpose) flour, whole-wheat flour, aniseed, allspice, yeast and salt in a 4-quart (or larger) bowl. Thoroughly whisk 1 1/4 cups ice water, honey, molasses, oil and orange zest in a medium bowl. Vigorously stir the honey mixture and drained fruit into the dry ingredients, scraping down the sides and mixing just until the dough is thoroughly blended. The dough should be moist and somewhat sticky, but fairly stiff. If the mixture is too dry, stir in just enough additional ice water to facilitate mixing, but don’t overmoisten. If the dough is too wet, stir in just enough flour to stiffen slightly. Lightly coat the top with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.

First rise: Let the dough rise at room temperature (about 70 degrees F) for 12-18 hours; if convenient, stir once partway through the rise. For convenience (and improved flavor), you may refrigerate the dough for 3-12 hours before starting the first rise.

Second rise: Coat a 10-cup Bundt pan (or similar pan with a center tube) with oil. Vigorously stir the dough to deflate it. If it is soft, stir in just enough bread (or all-purpose) flour to yield a firm but moist dough (it should be fairly hard to stir). Transfer the dough to the pan. Lightly coat the top with oil. Smooth out and press the dough evenly into the pan with oiled fingertips or a rubber spatula; if the dough springs back and is resistant, let it rest for 10 minutes, then proceed. Cover with plastic wrap.

Let rise at warm room temperature until the dough is about 1 inch below the pan rim (of a 10-cup pan) or until an indentation stays when pressed into the dough (if a larger pan is used), 1 1/4 - 2 1/2 hours. (For an accelerated rise, see Tip).

15 minutes before baking: Position a rack in the lower third of the oven; preheat to 350 degrees F.

Bake, cool: Bake the loaf on the lower rack until lightly browned and a skewer inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs on the tip (or until an instant-read thermometer registers 204-206 degrees), 60-70 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10-15 minutes.

To prepare soaking syrup: Combine the orange juice and honey in a small bowl. Brush about half the syrup over the top of the loaf. When it’s fully absorbed, run a knife around the tube to loosen the loaf and invert onto the rack, set over wax paper. Brush with the remaining syrup. Let cool thoroughly.

To prepare glaze: If desired, combine the confectioners’ sugar with orange juice in a small bowl to make a thick, slightly fluid glaze. Drizzle the glaze over the cooled loaf and leave uncovered until the glaze sets, about 30 minutes.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Publisher. All rights reserved.

RecID 11300

nutrition information per serving

232 calories; 3g total fat; 0g total saturated fat; 0mg cholesterol; 214mg sodium; 50g carbohydrates; 3g fiber; 5g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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