Mix the flour, yeast and salt and 1½ tsp of the caster sugar in a large
mixing bowl. Put in the butter and rub it into the flour. Make a dip in the centre of
the flour and pour in almost 300ml hand
warm (cool rather than hot) water, with
a round-bladed knife. Then mix in enough
of the remaining water and a bit more if
needed, to gather up any dry bits in the
bottom of the bowl, until the mixture
comes together as a soft, not too sticky,
dough. Gather it into a ball with your hands.
Put the dough onto a very lightly
floured surface and knead for 8-10 mins
until it feels smooth and elastic, only
adding the minimum of extra flour if
necessary to prevent the dough sticking.
Place the ball of dough on a lightly
floured work surface. Cover with an
upturned, clean, large glass bowl and
leave for 45 mins-1 hr or until doubled in
size and feels light and springy. Timing
will depend on the warmth of the room.
Knock back the dough by gently
kneading just 3-4 times. You only want to
knock out any large air bubbles, so too
much handling now will lose the dough’s
lightness. Shape into a ball, then cover and leave for 10 mins.
Shape by flattening the dough into a
rectangle, about 28 x 18cm, scatter
on the cranberries, raisins and
chopped pecans, then roll up tightly
from one of the short ends. Roll into a
Tie into a simple knot and lay on
a baking parchment-lined baking
sheet. Cover and leave for 40-45
mins, or until doubled in size.
Put a roasting tin in the bottom of the
oven 20 mins before ready to bake and
heat oven to 230C/210C fan/gas 8. Put
the risen bread in the oven, carefully pour
about 250ml cold water into the roasting
tin (this will hiss and create a burst of
steam to give you a crisp crust), then
lower the heat to 220C/200C fan/gas 7.
Bake for 20 mins or until golden.
Remove and cool on a wire rack. If you
tap the underneath of the loaf if should
be firm and sound hollow.
Finish by making a spiced sugar
glaze with the remaining caster sugar,
cinnamon and 1 tsp hot water. Brush
over bread while it is still warm.