At Bourke Street Bakery we mix together allspice, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon and fruit soak through the basic sourdough to create this loaf. In our first year of trading we sold these loaves as a hot cross bun substitute (as we did not have a bun divider, it would have been extremely time-consuming to try and make a serious quantity of hot cross buns). This was justified by the un-researched fact that when the hot cross bun evolved they would have been sourdough-based.
To make the spiced fruit sourdough, follow the instructions for mixing sourdough until you can create a window. Lightly mix in the combined spices and fruit soak. You can do this by hand by lightly folding the ingredients through the dough until just combined, or simply add it to the bowl of an electric mixer and mix for 2–3 minutes on slow speed — you will need to give it a helping hand by stopping the mixer a few times to push the dough around the bowl. Lightly grease a container with oil spray and sit the dough inside. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside at ambient room temperature (approximately 20°C/68°F) for 1 hour to bulk prove.
To knock back the dough, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and press out into a rectangle, about
Use a blunt knife or divider to divide the dough into two even-sized portions, about
Line two small baskets with a tea towel (dish towel) in each, lightly dust both with flour and place a loaf inside each, seam side up. If you are using a traditional cane basket, you don’t need the tea towel and can simply dust the basket with flour. Alternatively, you can place the loaves on a baking tray lined with baking paper, seam side down. Place in the refrigerator loosely covered with a plastic bag for 8–12 hours.
Spray the oven with water and reduce the temperature to 220°C (425°F/Gas 7).
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