Dried fruit is a delightful treat in bread. Bursts of chewy sweetness paired with a gorgeous blend of spices take a humble plain loaf and turn it into the first thing to go at a fancy brunch. Cinnamon and raisin, of course, are a classic combination, but they’re barely the beginning of the possible options.
Choose unsweetened dried fruit.
A lot of dried fruits are high in added sugar. Dried cranberries, for example, would be hard to eat without some added sweetness. For fruits that need to be paired with sweetness, look for juice-sweetened options. Juice is mostly sugar, but it’s got more nutrients than highly processed sweeteners like cane sugar or high fructose corn syrup. Better yet, choose fruits that are sweet enough to enjoy unsweetened. Apricots, figs, currants, dates, and some dried pineapple and apple slices are awesome options. If in doubt, look for dried fruits that earn Guiding Stars.
Look for spice inspiration in other recipes.
If you’re not sure how to change up the spices of your bread, look for a recipe that uses the fruit you’ve chosen along with some interesting combination of spices. Keep the total quantity of spices consistent with this recipe (2 teaspoons total), but use the proportion of spices in the recipe you’re using as inspiration. One of the easiest ways to do that is to just measure out the spice mix for your inspiration recipe, shake all spices together, then measure out 2 teaspoons for your bread and label the rest for later. If I wanted to try pineapple, I might look at Jamaican jerk spice mixes. For apricots, I might look at old-fashioned Christmas fruitcake recipes. The featured recipe for this post was based off a Moroccan salad.