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Robin Tritschler's Lockdown Loaf

I would not normally be adventurous and create a baking recipe but in the ‘making do’, ‘needs must’, ‘all in it together’ spirit of the lockdown and this cookbook ….here goes. From the start I promised myself to submit the recipe no matter the result. Thankfully I got lucky. It is actually pretty tasty.

I will leave others decide whether it is cake or bread. I simply call it a loaf. Perhaps I didn’t completely succeed in capturing the essence of the breads and bracks I baked with my mother and grandmother but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

I adjusted their basic recipe to suit the untested combination of available ingredients. Walnuts could be used instead of pecans, orange instead of cranberry juice but there is no substitute for butter (said the Irishman). The measurements listed are not precise but don’t waiver from them too much. I had to do this twice as during the first attempt I forgot to take note of all the measurements. Both worked out.


I used:

180g dried apricots, roughly chopped

200ml water 60g butter (plus a knob for greasing, and more for smearing)

240g self-raising flour

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

180g caster sugar

A generous handful of pecans, chopped

1 egg, beaten

200ml cranberry juice

How I used them:

- Preheat the oven to 170C.

- Butter a loaf tin. If you already baulk at the amount of butter listed use greaseproof paper.

- Place the chopped apricots and water in a small saucepan. Bring it to the boil, then reduce the heat to simmer for 5 mins or until the apricots are soft. Drain the fruit, keeping around 100ml of the liquid. Add the butter to the warm liquid so it melts.

- Combine the sugar and pecans to sifted flour and bicarbonate of soda.

- In another bowl combine the egg, juice, apricots, butter and liquid, and slowly mix it into the dry ingredients.

- Pour the mixture into the loaf tin.

- Place it in the centre of the oven for 50-60 mins. To test the loaf is baked, pierce it with a skewer. If the skewer comes out ‘clean’ the loaf is done. If, as happened during my first attempt, the loaf browns or appears to burn before it is baked, loosely cover it with tinfoil.

- Remove the tin from the oven and allow it slightly cool before tipping the loaf onto a tea towel. Wrap it and leave it cool on a wire rack.

- Finally, smear a generous slice of loaf with butter and eat.

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