Chocolate and peanut butter malt loaf
By Alec Wilby
Ingredients for malt loaf
120 g unsalted butter
1/2 tbsp dark brown soft sugar
2 tbsp malt extract (Holland & Barrett sell it in jars)
1 tbsp treacle
225 g strong white flour
4 g salt
7 g fast action dried yeast (usually 1 sachet)
70 g dark chocolate
70 g crunchy peanut butter (I’ve found that Meridian works best although it does make the dough quite sticky so be prepared)
70 g raisins
about 500 ml water
1 tsp honey
A shower cap or cling film is also needed to cover the bowl while the dough rises
Boil the water, pour into a jug and put a tablespoon in the jug to heat up – heating the spoon makes the treacle and malt extract much easier to work with. When hot, use the tablespoon to add your malt extract to a small saucepan, rinsing in the hot water before using again for the treacle. Add your butter and sugar and put the pan on a low heat, stirring until the ingredients are mixed before removing from the heat to cool and pour away all but 125 ml of water from your jug (so that it will cool quicker).
Add the flour to a large mixing bowl and put the yeast and salt on opposite sides of the bowl. Cut the chocolate into small cubes (about 1/4in segments) and add to the mixing bowl along with the raisins. Start mixing, whether you’re using an electric or hand mixer, or a wooden spoon, and then add the peanut butter in small amounts mixing as you go. Add your sugar mixture, followed by 125 ml of warm water (40ºC or less, otherwise your yeast might die) and mix thoroughly.
Lightly flour a board and tip your dough out onto it and knead it by pushing it away with your palm and folding it over on itself for a few minutes until it is reasonably easy to shape into a log roughly the length of your loaf tin. Your dough might be quite sticky due so this can be quite a messy process. If need be, scrape the dough off your fingers and the board with a butter knife or thin spatula and add it back to the main mass periodically. When you have formed your log, grease your tin with a small amount of butter and transfer the dough into the tin. Cover loosely with a shower cap (in case the dough rises a lot) and leave to prove until the dough has risen to the top of the tin, or about 12 hours. I usually make the dough in an evening and bake it the following afternoon.
Pre-heat the oven to 190ºC, remove the shower cap and loosely cover the tin with foil so the top doesn’t burn. Bake on the middle shelf for around half an hour. After 30 minutes, check the bread is baked by piercing the middle of the malt loaf with a skewer, if it doesn’t come out clean put it in for another 5 minutes. To finish, microwave the honey in a small dish on the lowest setting for (literally) a few seconds before brushing over the top of the loaf. Leave to cool and enjoy for breakfast with butter (or more peanut butter).