HOMEMADE MALT LOAF - Sustainable(ish)


This is a great bake and since I discovered the recipe I’ve been making a couple of these pretty much every week, (or double the recipe and stash a couple in the freezer).
It is great for an after school snack, or as a plastic free addition to lunchboxes and is delicious spread with butter. It’s also one of those bakes that just keeps getting better as it gets squishier and squishier if you can wait a day or two before tucking in.

The recipe is from one of my favourite cookbooks The Five O’Clock Apron by Claire Thomson, and the only thing I’ve added to it is a handful of raisins.

This is what you need:

  • 175g malt extract (I couldn’t find any in the supermarket, but did manage to track some down in Holland and Barratt)
  • 85g dark muscovado/dark brown soft sugar
  • 300g pitted dates
  • 150ml hot black tea
  • 2 large free range eggs
  • 250g plain flour
  • A good handful of raisins or sultanas
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

NB. I normally double this recipe and make four loaves at a time, as it's not really any extra work and then I can pop three loaves in the freezer for busy weeks when I don't have time for baking.

This is what you do:

  • Grease 2 (or 4)  450g loaf tins with a little sunflower or vegetable oil
  • Pre-heat the oven to 150C
  • Put the malt extract, sugar and dates into a bowl (I use the bowl of my food processor) and cover with the tea. Leave for 5 minutes to allow the dates to soften, and then whiz the whole lot up in a blender or food processor.
  • Tip the whole lot into a bowl, add the eggs and stir well.
  • Add the flour, baking powder and bicarb and stir again. I chuck in a good handful of raisins at this point.
  • Divide the mix between the two loaf tins, and bake for 50 mins until firm and well risen. Double check by inserting a skewer into each loaf and seeing if it comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool, before running a palate knife around the edge and tipping the loaves out onto a cooling rack.
  • If you can bear it, wait a day before slicing and serving buttered

Plastic free/zero waste tips:

  • Dates and raisins should both be available plastic free from zero waste shops if you have one near you, otherwise you can order them plastic free online from The Plastic Free Pantry (UK only)
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    You can make your own plastic free version of dark brown soft sugar by mixing caster sugar with molasses - about 85g of molasses for every 225g sugar.
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    Do your teabags contain plastic..?! Check out this post here for more on plastic free tea.

What are your 'go to's' for plastic free and zero waste

snacks or lunchbox additions?

Do share in the comments!


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