Around the Counties in 47 Blog Posts – Lincolnshire.
After a little break we are back on our journey around the counties. In this post we leave glorious Nottinghamshire and find ourselves in the county of Lincolnshire, a historic county in the east of England.
Lincolnshire has an abundance of regional dishes to choose from for our counties adventure, and therefore deciding what dish to make was difficult, from Lincolnshire sausage to the plum pudding, the county of Lincolnshire certainly knows its food.
However, one dish that really took our fancy, the one we just knew we had to share with everyone, was the Hairy Bikers’ Lincolnshire plum bread. (From the BBC Programme The Hairy Bikers Food Tour of Britain.)
The Lincolnshire plum bread is the region’s speciality, which once upon a time became part of staple diet for the people of Lincolnshire.
This popular dish can be served warm (toasted) with butter as a breakfast item, with afternoon tea, or even with a slice of cheese as people do with Christmas cake in Yorkshire!
The loaf is made using a range of dried fruits, known in old terms as ‘plum’, hence the name Lincolnshire ‘plum’ bread. During the middle ages, dried fruits were used to help preserve meats.
In times gone by, the loaf was also made using lard, probably due to Lincolnshire’s well-known status as being a pig county. But as people became more health conscious, the fat content has been greatly reduced by using margarine and butter to provide a healthy alternative.
Watch us make Lincolnshire plum bread in our YouTube Yorkshire Pudd kitchen clip!
Ingredients – Lincolnshire Plum Bread
- 225g prunes, roughly chopped
- 50g currants
- 50g sultanas
- 150ml Earl Grey tea
- 450g strong plain flour
- 125ml milk
- 6 tbsp soft brown sugar
- 110g butter
- 2 free-range eggs
- 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1½ tsp ground allspice
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp salt
- 15g dried yeast
- Place the dried fruits into a bowl and pour over the Earl Grey tea. Mix well and set aside to soak for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, sift the flour into a large bowl. Prepare a large loaf tin by greasing and flouring the bottom and sides.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, sugar, melted butter and eggs until well combined.
- Add the spices, vanilla extract and salt and whisk again to combine.
- Add the dried yeast and whisk again to combine.
- Add the sifted flour a little at a time and whisk until all of the flour has been incorporated into the mixture and the mixture comes together as a soft dough.
- Strain the soaked dried fruits and discard the tea. Add the soaked fruits to the dough and knead for 3-5 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic and the fruits are well combined in the mixture.
- Transfer the dough to a clean bowl, cover with a clean tea towel and set aside in a warm place for 1-2 hours, or until doubled in size.
- When the dough has doubled in size, turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead briefly. Transfer the dough to a large loaf tin and set aside for a further hour to rise.
- Preheat the oven to 190C
- When the dough has risen, bake in the oven for 40-50 minutes, or until golden-brown. Set aside to cool in the tin.