50g unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for greasing
oil, for greasing
1½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
50g dried apricots, chopped
50g dried figs, chopped
50g pitted dates, chopped
50g glace cherries, chopped
juice 1 orange
Soak the dried fruits in the orange juice for about 30 mins, then sieve, reserving the juice.
Put the flour, yeast, caster sugar and 1 tsp salt into a large mixing bowl with the spices and soaked fruit and mix well. Make a well in the centre and pour in the warm milk, reserved orange juice, the beaten egg and the melted butter. Mix everything together to form a dough - start with a wooden spoon and finish with your hands. If the dough is too dry, add a little more warm water; if it’s too wet, add more flour.
Knead in the bowl or on a floured surface until the dough becomes smooth and springy. Transfer to a clean, lightly greased bowl and cover loosely with a clean, damp tea towel. Leave in a warm place to rise until roughly doubled in size - this will take about 1 hr depending on how warm the room is.
Knock the dough back by kneading for a few secs. Dust 2 x 2lb loaf tins with flour. Halve the dough. Use a little flour to help you shape each half into a smooth oval, then pop them into the tins. Cover both loosely with a clean, damp tea towel and leave to prove in a warm place for about 20 mins. Meanwhile, heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.
Bake for 20 mins, then cool in the tins before turning out and slicing.