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How to make sugar loaf

Sugar loaf is a delicious treat which originated from the Netherlands - it may share a name with Sugarloaf Mountain but they are not related. If you have a sweet tooth, you are sure to enjoy the recipe in this article.

Preparing the sweetener

The first step to making sugar loaf is to prepare the sweetener. This is not an artificial sweetener. It is rather a mixture of lemon zest, orange zest and 40 grams of sugar. Ensure the zest is well grated before mixing.
This can be prepared before cooking, and keeps for a long time when stored in the fridge.

Making dough

- Mix together 300 grams of flour, 20 grams of yeast, a little milk, a pinch of salt and the sweetener and mix slightly. Then add 30 grams of soft butter, and knead together until it forms a ball. - Cover the dough and then leave for about 20 minutes at room temperature, to give the yeast time to activate. - While you are waiting, break up 200 grams of sugar cubes by covering them with a towel and hitting them with a rolling pin. Mix these with a pinch of cinnamon and distribute throughout the dough. - Leave the dough to rest for another five minutes. - Then, put it in a bread pan, cover the bread with cling film and leave for up to an hour. - Remove the cling film after an hour, and preheat your oven to 200C (390F, Gas mark 7). - Bake the sugar loaf for about 35 minutes. Author's advise Be careful when you take the bread out of the oven as the caramelised sugar on top with be extremely hot. Before tasting, make sure that it has cooled but is still warm.

Variations on sugar loaf

While sugar loaf should just be an occasional treat, due to the high sugar content, there are ways in which you can change the recipe so that each time the loaf flavour you have can be different. For example, you could remove half of the sugar cubes from the recipe and replace them with raisins, for a slightly healthier alternative to sugar loaf.
You may also want to experiment with fruits such raspberries or blackberries. Raspberries will cut down on the sweetness of the sugar loaf and balance it out. However you choose to cook it, sugar loaf is a delicious treat and makes a wonderful family dessert. It is also popular served warm in many USA ski resorts.

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