german fruit bread

German Fruit Bread

German Fruit Bread is a dense, fruit-rich loaf that keeps for months when wrapped, and the flavour only improves with time. Traditionally these loaves are made using dried pears, but any kind of dried fruit or nuts can be used—try a tropical variant with dried pineapple, pawpaw, mango and ginger, or use dried blueberries and strawberries. The bread takes two days to prepare due to the need to hydrate the fruit, but I have omitted the yeast from the traditional recipe, meaning there is no need for a rising time.


250 g sugar
500 mL water
200 g chopped dried pears
200 g chopped dried apricots
200 g chopped dried figs (stems removed)
200 g chopped pitted prunes
200 g sultanas
200 g currants
100 g glace cherries
250 g bread flour
1 tsp ground aniseed
1 tsp cinnamon
1 pinch ground cloves
1 pinch ground cardamom
1 pinch ground ginger
250 g toasted macadamia halves


Dissolve sugar in water. Use the sugar water to soak dried pears, apricots and figs overnight to soften them. Next day, place fruit in a colander over a large pan and let the liquid drain into the pan. Add prunes, sultanas, currants and glace cherries to the colander. Place the colander and pan on the stove and steam the fruit mix for about 10 minutes, mixing from time to time and adding a small amount of extra water if needed to hydrate the fruit. Let cool. Take 250 mL of the drained liquid and mix with the bread flour, ground aniseed, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and ginger. Mix into a soft dough, then work in the steamed fruit a little at a time with wet hands, allowing the dough to bind the fruit (it will be quite damp). When all the fruit has been added, work in macadamia nuts. Divide the dough in four equal portions (a scale is useful) and using wet hands, shape them into loaves. The loaves will look very much like mud pies at this stage! Bake 60 minutes at 180 °C (fan-forced) until the exterior is quite dark. The loaves will keep for weeks to months at room temperature if wrapped in plastic, and the flavour develops beautifully with time.