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Stout Spice Bread

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3 3/4 cups plain flour

3/4 tea. baking soda (bicarbonate)

1 3/4 tea baking powder

1 1/4 tea salt

1 Tbl ground cinnamon

1 1/4 tea ground nutmeg

1 1/4 cups vegetable oil

1 1/4 cups black Treacle

1/2 cup + 1 Tbl packed brown sugar (dark or light)

2 large eggs

 

1 egg yolk

1 1/4 Tbl freshly grated orange zest

1 1/4 cups Stout, poured & settled

Icing sugar for dusting

4 clean, 19 ounce /500ml  tin cans (do not use enamel lined tins).  If you do not have these to hand, you could simply use some loaf tins, clean clay flower pots, or anything else you think might work & can withstand the heat of the oven or your fire pit.  You will need to generously grease these with butter, but personally, I would line them with parchment as well.  Come to think of it, the silverwood pork pie moulds would work a treat!

 

1.  Preheat your oven to gas mark 4.  If your cooking outside, get A LOT of coals going!

2.  Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices; put to one side.  Put oil, molasses, brown sugar, eggs, egg yolk,   zest, and stout in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle.  Mix on low speed  -- you could mix this by hand instead.  Gradually add flour mixture.

3.  Fill your tins 2/3 of the way.  Bake until a cake tester comes out clean & bread is starting to pull away from the sides, about 50 mins or so (depends on how big your pots are).  If you are being brave and cooking outside, preheat you Dutch oven for a few mins. then put your pots inside the oven, replace the lid and set in the fire.  You are looking for lots of coals on the lid  (about 2") and very few underneath the oven.  I would use smaller pots as your cooking time will increase when cooking outside. Once you're happy with your Dutch oven set up, find a separate spot away from your Dutch oven where you can get some more coals going.  I would start the second set of coals about 10-15 mins. after you put your bread on to cook -- This will depend on how fast your coals are burning & how hot they are; try to keep the heat even.  Make yourself a pot of tea, fetch that book you've been dying to read, and have a seat!  The biggest mistake people make when cooking outside is they abandon their food -- Your fire could go out or flare up .  Either way, your food will suffer as a result!

4. When your bread is done, take it out of the tins/pots and cool completely on a wire rack.  Dust with icing sugar.

-- These make tasty gifts -- I would cook them in clay pots, remove to cool as per above, replace them back into their pots, & wrap them up.  Maybe add a packet of seeds threaded onto the ribbon for the soon- to-be- empty pot?

--These also freeze very well.  Why not make a mother load for your freezer?  I wrap mine in parchment/greaseproof paper, then cling film, then a sealable bag.  When you defrost them, take them out of the bag, but leave the other wrappings on.  As it defrosts, the paper will keep the water from coming into contact with the bread and keep it from becoming soggy.

 

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