Great British Baking - Week One

It's the best time of the year- baking season! I wait all year long for Great British Bake Off to return to my Netflix screen and it's officially here. One of my highlights of 2020 (not that there was much to compete with...) was baking along with the episodes and trying out all of the technical bakes! Of course I have to do that again this year.

Week one is starting out with cakes. The bakers were asked to make mini rolls for the Signature Challenge, and an Anti-Gravity Illusion Cake for the Showstopper. What I'm focusing on today (as usual) is the Technical- a Malt Loaf. Something I've never heard of but sounded so tasty and perfect for the cool, crisp days of fall that we're finally getting!

The process was pretty simple but very interesting- I started by soaking dried fruit in hot black tea- using English Breakfast of course- and steaming it in the microwave. Once it was out I added baking soda which caused a chemical reaction (not sure exactly what happened but it got a bit foamy which was neat). While that sat for a few minutes, I heated together the malt extract, molasses, and brown sugar until the sugar was dissolved.

Just a note about these recipes- a lot of the ingredients are specific to Great Britain and either aren't available readily here, or have a different name. Usually I'll google names of things that I'm not familiar with and make substitutions if I need to (like for this recipe, I couldn't find malt extract any where so I used maple syrup and honey).

Once all of my wet ingredients were ready, I sifted together flour and baking powder, then folded in the prepared wet ingredients. I mixed in eggs and then it went in the oven for about an hour!

The last step was adding a glaze (which was supposed to be the malt extract but I added my maple syrup and honey mixture). I let it sit for a bit while I ran some errands and then enjoyed it with some butter spread over the top.

I really liked how this turned out! It reminded me of a fruit cake/gingerbread hybrid. It tasted very cozy and warming, without being too heavy. It was a little sweet for my taste though, so next time I would probably omit the glaze at the end.


The Good

  • There was good fruit distribution- goes throughout the bread instead of sticking to one spot
  • Good texture and flavor!

The "Needs Improving"

  • Might be a touch overcooked...just a little bit dry
  • Too sweet for me which is probably because I substituted for the malt extract

Do you watch Great British Bake Off?
Have you ever heard of Malt Loaf?


  1. I don't have a TV, and no streaming, so no, don't watch it. But I really love reading your recaps - they always sound so challenging. And, hard to adapt sometimes with the weird British ingredients. :) I've never heard of malt loaf but it doesn't sound like it's for me - not a fan of dried fruit in breads... granola, sure, and granola bars, but not bread. ;)

    1. This is definitely not for you then haha! I think there were so many flavors that I didn't really notice the fruit though (plus you soak it so long that it becomes kind of silky and meshes really well with the other textures!). Glad you like these posts Anne :)


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