3/4 oz Fresh yeast or 1tbsp dried
-yeast and 1tsp
1 1/2 lb Strong white unbleached
2 ts Salt
12 oz Stoned prunes
12 oz Plain chocolate
3/4 oz Butter
1. Grease a 2lb / 900g loaf tin, two 1lb / 450g loaf tins or a baking tray.
Bend the fresh yeast with 3/4pt / 450ml hand-hot water. If using dried
yeast, sprinkle it on to the hand-hot water with the sugar and leave in a
warm place for 15 minutes until frothy.
2. Mix the flour and salt together well. Make a reservoir in the centre
with a wooden spoon.
3. Gradually add about 3/4 of the yeast liquid to the flour and mix well
together. (I find that different flours absorb different amounts of liquid,
so I never add all the liquid at once.) The dough should be firm and leave
the sides of the bowl clean. If it looks dry, add some of the remaining
4. Lightly flour a work surface and turn the dough out. Knead well for 15
minutes – you should end up with a smooth, elastic dough.
5. Return the dough to a clean bowl, cover with a clean tea-towel and leave
to rise somewhere warm and free of draughts for 1 hour, until doubled in
size. Meanwhile, chop the prunes, chocolate and butter. Beat the egg.
6. Turn the dough back on to a lightly-floured work surface and knead again
to knock out the air bubbles. It will return to its original size. Add the
prunes, chocolate, butter and beaten egg and knead well for 10 minutes.
7. Divide and put dough in the prepared tins or shape into ovals and place
on the baking tray. Allow to rise for 10 minutes.
8. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 220?C/425?F/Gas Mark 7. Bake the loaves
for 35 minutes.
9. Leave to cool on a wire rack. Serve warm – the chocolate should be
melted and the prunes juicy.