Orange scented fruited sourdough pan loaf

fruit toast
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Of all the things I miss most of Melbourne is the morning stroll we did to get coffee. We lived on the hills of beautiful Emerald and there was this nature trail that connected Belgrave and Gembrook, which followed the famous Puffing Billy Railway line. It was our Saturday ritual to take this trail to a hidden cafe to get the morning coffee. This was our fasted-cardio for the weekend and it was about good 10 – 12 km (round trip) distance, and by the time we reach the cafe, we are usually starving and I look forward to my piece of raisin toast like my life depended on it!

fruit loaf

It was just a slice of plain mass produced sandwich loaf, but boy! it tasted amazing! I missed this so much, that I had to recreate the recipe at home. But, as you know, I’m a hard-core sourdough lover/devotee, so here is the sourdough version of a fruited pan loaf.

I wouldn’t call this a sandwich loaf, as it is not as enriched. This loaf has still got a nice byte to it and got a chewy texture. It is not a fluffy, cake-like bread at all.

fruit loaf
open crumb with a texture and a real byte

The only thing is I have added a little milk, oil and honey to make it a little bit flexible, so I can proof this in a pan. This additions resulted with a softer crumb (than a usual sourdough with just flour, water, salt) and crust. This makes it is easier to slice and hence perfect for toasts.

fruit loaf
Not the prettiest from outside…but wait till you cut into it!

So here are the steps:


Make the starter the previous night (or several hours before you start making the recipe)

Mix everything in a bowl, except the fruit. Transfer to a stand mixer and just mix until everything is hydrated.

Remember to add water gradually as you go, to create a soft dough


This is the dough that’s just been mixed. It is a little bit sticky, but not too much. Now let it rest for a bout 30 minutes.

And then mix on medium-low speed until a smoother dough is developed ( for a bout 3 minutes) You can use your hands if you like.

smooth dough

See how smooth dough is. It is not completely developed yet. Now place the dough in a plastic bowl, cover and let ferment for 45 minutes.

After 45 minutes, do a stretch and fold and let rest for about 30 minutes.

This is a good time to prepare the fruits.


You can skip figs or replace it with more Sultana or raisins. If the figs are soft, just slice them thinly and set aside. If they are very dry, soak them in boiling water for a few minutes and drain before cutting.

soak fruit

It is a good idea to soak the cranberries and Sultanas/raisins in boiling water for a couple of minutes. This will soften them and hydrate them. This will ensure that they won’t absorb moisture from the dough and also will blend in nicely without tearing the gluten stricture.

stretchy dough

After the stretch and fold and the resting time, the dough is now fully developed. Look how stretchy it is. Now is a good time to add the fruit.

adding fruit

Stretch the dough as much as you can like shown in the picture. Scatter the fruit evenly. And then, roll the dough from one end to the other. Shape in to a ball and place back in the container.

Cover and let ferment/bulk for about 3 hours


Bulked dough will be softer and bigger (not doubled, but noticeably grown). You will feel lots of air bubbles inside it.

Drop the dough on to a floured surface and pre-shape into a ball. Cover and let rest for 20 minutes.

shape the dough

Shape the dough like shown in the picture. If you don’t know how to shape, a pan loaf, checkout a video on YouTube.

dough in pan

Place the shaped dough in a lightly greased loaf pan. Cover this/place in a plastic bag and refrigerate over-night or several hours (minimum 12)

this pan dimensions are
9″ x 5″ x 2 ¾”

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proofed loaf

It will be proofed during the long retardation. ( 18 hours) But if you wan to bake earlier than this, take the loaf out and let it sit out-side (at room temp.) until it’s risen well above the brim of the pan.

Fully proofed loaf will be doubled in size. Do a poke test to see it is ready. When you press lightly with a finger, if it bounces back slowly, then it is ready.

baked loaf

Pre-heat the oven to 420 F

Lightly egg wash the top and bake; 15 minutes at 420 F and then a further 20 at 375 F.

Once done cool on a wire rack for about 5 minutes and demold the loaf and leave to cool completely


Slice with a serrated knife and enjoy!

Best served toasted

Slice or two toasted and with butter and syrup…is the best!

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  1. Instagram brought me here, and I am glad it did! This recipe will be my next week’s project, for leftover starter. Thank you!

  2. Oops! I found the answer to my question. I plan to make this fruit bread on friday. Thanks. All you recipes look awesome.

  3. Good morning from St Louis. Thank you for all of your efforts on this website. Would you provide the dimensions for your loaf pan? Also, I cannot achieve a nearly double of bread volume during a refrigerated proof. So, for my first try on this recipe I removed the pan in the morning and proofed the loaf at 100 (f) degrees for 1.5 hrs.

    1. You are welcome!
      My bread pan dimensions are 9″ x 5″ x 2 ¾” (its one of King Arthur Flour pans)
      Yes. Sometimes you have to take the pan out and let it complete it’s fermentation.
      It all depends on the starter activity and the richness of the dough. Also since the bread pan is metal, the dough is chilled faster than in a banneton so fermentation is slowed down rapidly.
      Hope I answered your question.

      1. I use 400g of flour for 8×4 pans, I was skeptical that 300g would fill a 9×5, but the hydration is fairly low so maybe it works?

  4. Hello, greetings from Houston. How many slaps and folds fo you do? And what intervals. Beautiful pictures! Thanks

    1. Thank you.

      Recipe step 7 – After 45 minutes, give one stretch and fold and let rest for another 30 minutes

  5. I have a starter going that is 100% hydration, would I just reduce the amount of water I add to the recipe?
    Thank you!

    1. Use 1 tbsp.(~25g)of your 100% hydrated starter to make the stiff starter(50% hydrated) in the recipe. A stiff starter helps reduce the sour flavor of the bread and is recommended in sweet bread.

      **You can use your 100% hydrated starter straight, if you like. In that case use about 110g and yes, hold back some of the water from the recipe

      Hope this helps!

  6. I just made this and WOW! What a great combination. The orange zest really is incredible with this combination. So original! I’m very happy to have come across your site! It gives me a whole new repertoire of sourdough recipes to run through. I’m proving the dough for your potato and ale hamburger buns as I write this. Can’t wait to see how those turn out!

  7. Hi Vindi, I am very keen to try this recipe! I have some organic rye flour and wholewheat flour. Will it work if I used 200g rye flour and 100g wholewheat flour?

    Also with the 50% hydration starter, does it need to be prepared as a stiff starter days beforehand? Looking forward to hearing from you as I would like to have a go this weekend. (I’m in Sydney). Thanks!

    1. Hi Mel, sorry about the late reply.
      I would not recommend using Rye or wholewheat in this bread specially in that ratio.A small % (eg: 2-5% should be fine) This bread needs strong gluten development and thats why I’ve use strong bread flour. If you want to use rye flour, may be try my Rye, Molasses & Orange sourdough (

      The stiff starter is usually made the night before (it ripe overnight at room temperature) so you can use it the next day morning. If you like, you can make it a day or two in advance and keep it in the refrigerator (in an air-tight container) until needed.

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