Dried Blueberry and Buttermilk Breakfast Bread

Dried Blueberry and Buttermilk Breakfast Bread

Dried Blueberry and Buttermilk Breakfast Bread
I always look out for ingredients that are a little out of the ordinary, things I have not tried before or new and interesting ways to add a delicious surprise to everyday meals.  My latest fab find is dried blueberries.  I'm sure there are those of you rolling your eyes with boredom... but I had never seen them before and thought they were worth a go.   Of course it is not just a breakfast bread, but that is when I think it is most indulgent!

Very tart and sweet dried blueberries are packed with a curranty flavour that leans them towards black currants...  and they were perfect for a breakfast loaf.  Fresh blueberries are too mushy to use, if you do not have dried blueberries, currants would be super.

Note: this loaf is a soft, almost hot cross bun consistency and therefore plain bakers flour does work best - or half and half spelt/rice flour.  I used a sourdough starter  to add some extra flavour, but normal yeast is just fine....

Dried Blueberry and Buttermilk Breakfast Bread

200 grams dried blueberries
1 mandarin or Clementine, finely chopped, skin and all
½  teaspoon each of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves
½  teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoons brown sugar or golden syrup
¼  cup brandy
1kg fine white bakers flour
350mls buttermilk
2 tablespoons yeast
2 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup flaked almonds
(optional) Sugar glaze: 2 tablespoons hot water, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, a little cinnamon and a tablespoon of brandy

Preheat oven to 175°C


Firstly, place the blueberries with the sugar, salt, mandarin, spices and brandy in a small microwave-proof bowl.  Heat in the microwave for about 1 - 2 minutes, or until the berries are plumped up.

In a large mixing bowl, add the flour and yeast and mix lightly.  Pour in the warmed berries and brandy, then add the buttermilk and bring the flour into a sticky dough - do not be alarmed and add extra flour, it is meant to be gloopy.
Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for at least 10 minutes or until the dough starts to settle into a thick, pliant dough with a soft texture.
Cover with plastic wrap and leave to rise for an hour in a warm place.

Once the dough is doubled in size turn out onto an oiled surface (no more flour!) and press flat onto the bench.  Smear the butter all over the surface of the dough, then knead it in lightly, just enough so that the dough has a slight marble but the butter is incorporated.
Divide the dough in half and form into desired shape (my preference is for long flattish loaves that do not tempt the eater into tooooo large a piece) then place on a baking sheet and leave to rise for at least an hour.

Before baking, make the sugar glaze and brush the loaves lightly.  Cover the tops of the loaves with flaked almonds.
Bake in a moderate oven - no too hot - for about 45 minutes.  Once browned, turn off the oven and leave to continue cooking for about 15 minutes or until cool enough to touch.

Cool completely on a wire rack before eating with a generous dollop of cream cheese.  


 Dried Blueberry and Buttermilk Bread