25 November 2021

Malt Loaf - A British Teatime Classic

Malt Loaf - A British Teatime Classic / www.delightfulrepast.com

Malt Loaf originated in 19th century Scotland and was featured in this season's first episode, Cake Week, of The Great British Bake Off (GBBO), called The Great British Baking Show in the US. 

I hadn't thought about malt loaf in years, but after seeing episode one, I began digging through my old recipes. It's not a light and airy cake; more of a dense and squidgy tea bread. Not too sweet, and served with soft butter.

All malt loaf recipes are very similar. Two of the ways mine differs from Prue's GBBO loaf, besides different amounts, are:  1. I skip the black treacle so as not to detract from the flavor of the malt extract.

And 2. I drain the soaked fruit and coat it with flour before adding the wet ingredients, a step that helps keep the fruit from clumping together and sinking to the bottom of the loaf.

If you like a sweeter loaf, use 1/2 packed cup (3.5 ounces/99 grams) dark brown sugar rather than my 1/3 cup. But do try it my way!

So ... now that the season has ended, and long after all those who like to "bake along" with GBBO have baked it, here is my recipe for Malt Loaf. 

Do you make malt loaf? Or did you try it for the first time with "bake along" fans? If not, maybe you'll be inspired to try it now! Do let me know.  

Malt Loaf - A British Teatime Classic / www.delightfulrepast.com

If you like it, please Pin it and share it!

Malt Loaf

(Makes one 2-pound/900 gram/9x4x4-inch loaf)

3/4 cup (6 fluid ounces/177 ml) just-boiled water
1 teaspoon (or 1 tea bag) strong black tea
1 packed cup (5 ounces/142 grams) raisins
1/2 packed cup (2.5 ounces/71 grams) soft pitted prunes, chopped to raisin size
1/2 cup (6 ounces/170 grams) malt extract*
1/3 firmly packed cup (2.33 ounces/66 grams) dark brown sugar
1 3/4 dip-and-sweep cups (8.75 ounces/248 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs (medium, in UK), lightly beaten


1 Pour boiling water over the tea. Let steep for 5 minutes; strain. Pour over raisins and prunes in a bowl. Partially cover and microwave for about 2 minutes, or bring to a simmer in a small pan on the stove and then turn off heat. Let stand, covered, for 10 minutes, then drain, reserving the liquid.

2 Grease (and sometimes I also line bottom and ends, but not the sides, with a piece of baking parchment) a 9x4x4-inch loaf pan or 9x5x3-inch loaf pan. Preheat oven to 325F/165C/Gas3. 

Note: I love the square shape of the 9x4x4-inch loaf pan that I initially got for baking my gluten-free yeast breads but use (without its lid) for nearly everything that calls for a 9x5x3-inch pan. 

3 In a 1-quart saucepan over low heat, cook the malt extract and brown sugar together, stirring constantly until the sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and cool for 5 minutes.

4 In 2- to 3-quart mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisking vigorously for a half minute or so is what passes for sifting around here on most days. Put the thoroughly drained fruit on top of the flour, and stir gently until the pieces are coated with the flour and not clumped together. This keeps the fruit from sinking to the bottom of the loaf.

5 Make a well in the center; pour in the malt mixture, eggs, and reserved liquid from the fruit (about 1/3 cup), breaking up the eggs and mixing them with the malt and liquid. Then bring in the flour from the sides, and stir gently until well combined, about 1 minute. Scrape into prepared loaf tin. Bake for about 50 to 60 minutes, until skewer inserted in center comes out with just a few soft crumbs (but not raw batter).

6 Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes before turning out onto wire rack. Continue cooling on wire rack until completely cool, an hour and a half or so. Wrap tightly in foil and let it mellow for a day or two. Cut the loaf into slices and serve with soft butter.

Note: Some people brush the top of the hot loaf with about a tablespoon of malt extract as it cools. Some brush the top and sides. I usually skip that step, but did the top this time.

Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites. We are a ThermoWorks affiliate, earning a small commission at no cost to you on purchases made through our links. This helps cover some of the costs of running the blog. Thank you for your support. 

Jean

If you liked this post, please Pin it and share it!

40 comments:

Richard Sheppard said...

I've not heard of Malt Loaf but it sounds yummy. I keep saying we're going to watch the British Baking Show but never seem to get around to it. I hear it's great. So, if I buy some malt syrup which, of course is necessary for this recipe, is there anything else it can be used for?

TONY said...

Malt Loaf!! Now you are talking, Jean. You are taking me back to my early childhood. My Mum used to buy (SOREEN)malt loaf, which my two brothers and I always thought of as a treat. Yours looks like the real thing!! Ha! Ha! Only joking. SOREEN is the brand we have in England anyway. A moist, malty taste with raisins. Delicious.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Good question, Richard. I have no idea! But I'll look into it. Plan on making the recipe 3 times, and none will go to waste, even if I can't find another use for it!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Tony, I suppose I might be able to find Soreen in a British import shop, but I hadn't heard of it until this week. I rarely eat store-bought treats, but I should try ONE anyway for research purposes.

Jeanie said...

That sounds really good, Jean. And British, too! So what's not to love! Thanks for sharing this. And Happy THanksgiving!

Dee | Grammy's Grid said...

Thanks so much for linking up at the Unlimited Link Party 61. Pinned!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Jeanie, thank you. I had a slice for breakfast, and I'm going to have another slice in just a little while. So good with a cup of tea! Hope you're having a wonderful day and perfect autumn long weekend!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks so much, Dee. Pins and shares are always appreciated!

Thomas "Sully" Sullivan said...

I really need to slow down. Speed read “Malt Loaf” as “Meat Loaf, and thereafter nothing made sense. Think “Clara” or whatever her name was in the ad, demanding “…where’s the beef?” Of course, not being much of a connoisseur for all things bread (except as sponges), by the time I got to the end, I was trying to imagine if a little beef (or a lot) might better fit my pedestrian tastes. Sort of like a hamburger with the bun mixed in… Happy Turkey Day!

Phil in the Kitchen said...

I like the sound of this. I do enjoy malt loaf but I haven't made or even eaten it for a few years now. Back then, someone gave me a HUGE jar of the stuff (I've no idea where he got it from) and, to be honest, I made far too much malt loaf. Neighbours would cross the street to avoid me in case I forced them to accept more malt loaf. I did use some malt extract in making bread too but, in the end, I gave the rest of it to someone who brewed his own beer. Apparently, it's useful for brewing in some way but that's a mystery to me.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Sully, nope, no beef in malt loaf. Strictly vegetarian, but not vegan, because it is best with butter slathered on each slice. Please don't tell me you have an aversion to butter! Hope you had a grand day.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

No, Phil, I can't tell you about the beer thing; I've not yet spoken to my brewing friends (I actually have several of them). So far I haven't shared my malt loaf with anyone. Keeping it all to ourselves, we are. Maybe the next one.

Kitchen Riffs said...

Fun recipe, and one that's new to me. This sounds lovely --so nice Thanks!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, John. And, simple and plain as it is, its unique flavor would likely lend itself to pairing well with dessert wines, Guinness, or some of your splendid cocktails.

Lorrie said...

I remember seeing Malt Loaf on that episode of GBBS, but it's not something I've ever eaten nor tried to make. I'm not very fond of dried fruits in batter.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

I know what you mean, Lorrie. Sometimes the dried fruits are put in, unplumped, very dry, and then they suck all the moisture out of the batter or dough. And sometimes, as with the GBBO recipe, there is simply far too much dried fruit for the amount of batter.

Tasker Dunham said...

We quite often buy Soreen, but your recipe looks worth a try.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, TD. I hope you'll give it a try and let me know how it compares to Soreen, since I don't have ready access to Soreen and have never had it.

GretchenJoanna said...

I haven't heard of malt loaf, but I've been intrigued by malt as an ingredient for many years, since a chef used "malt crystals" as the last layer on top of the icing, sides and top of a layer cake he served us. It was a delicious touch! I searched and searched online back then, wanting to buy my own supply for a similar use. But I never could find them. I should probably look again.

Lately, I was researching malted milk powders, but barley malt syrup didn't come up. I will buy some of this because it seems it can be used even in non-dairy "milks" and is therefore more versatile. And I will try your malt loaf! Thank you!!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, GretchenJoanna. I hope you will try it soon and let me know how you liked it. I like the unique flavor of malt. Hadn't thought of any other uses for this product yet, but it does seem like a spoonful in a nondairy milk would be a real treat, hot or cold. Was the product that the chef used on your cake isomalt crystals? I know they can be flavored and colored for cake decorations, but I'm not sure what flavor they have on their own.

Sherry's Pickings said...

my mum used to make loaves like these. So delicious!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Sherry, glad to hear from someone who has had this before!

Lowcarb team member said...

Yum! This brings back memories.
I used to enjoy a slice of malt loaf with butter ...
Perhaps it's time to indulge :)

Enjoy these last days of November and my good wishes for December, it will soon be here.

All the best Jan

Pauline Wiles said...

Ooh, Jean, you really stopped me in my tracks here. Malt Loaf is one of the things I miss most from England (often it's the last snack I buy at Heathrow before flying back) and I never even considered I could *make* it. How exciting - thank you for opening my eyes.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Jan! You might recall, I limit my sugar intake and so know the sugar content of everything that goes into my mouth. :D One of the things I learned about this malt extract is that, with 8 grams of sugar per tablespoon, it is much lower in sugar than sugar (12.6 grams per tablespoon), molasses (14 grams per tablespoon), or honey (16 grams per tablespoon). Wishing you a delightful December!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Pauline, that's wonderful! I hope you'll make it soon and let me know how it compares to your Heathrow snack!

Marilyn Miller said...

This sounds delicious and definitely perfect for teatime.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Marilyn!

Sandi@ Rose Chintz Cottage said...

Jean, I have never heard of malt loaf, let alone baked one. But most loaves and I do see eye to eye. They are so perfect for tea time! The fact that there are prunes in it really appeals to me. Thank you for sharing your recipe.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Sandi! Yes, perfect for teatime. Easy to wrap and store and bring out every afternoon for several days.

ellen b. said...

Just saw the malt loaf episode on the Great British Baking show. Every time I saw the title to this post I kept reading Meat Loaf. LOL!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

I know what you mean, Ellen. I wrote it, and I still read it as "meat loaf!" :D

Veronica Lee said...

Your malt loaf looks amazing!

I'd love to try the recipe.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Veronica. I'll be making another in a few days.

Cocoa and Lavender said...

I love the GBBO comparison! Markipedia is a huge fan of malt-flavored things… this might be his birthday cake!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, David. Since he doesn't like overly sweet desserts, Markipedia just might like this!

shirleysimplerecipe said...

Looks yum 😀!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Shirley!

Haddock said...

Those slices are tempting.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Haddock!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...