I USUALLY use strong white bread flour for my fruit, nut and honey loaf. When I discovered there was none left in the larder, I decided to go ahead anyway using Matthews Cotswold Crunch mix - and am so glad I did. This flour is a delightful blend of Cotswold flour, malted grains and wheat flakes, milled at Shipton-under-Wychwood. which does what it says on the bag - it comes with a crunch. It proved, therefore, an idea flour with which to make a loaf containing fruit and nuts.

For one loaf you will need: 10oz (280g) Matthews Cotswold Crunch flour One oz (25g) caster sugar One sachet dried yeast Half tspn ground cinnamon Half tspn ground ginger One oz (25g) melted butter, plus a further 2oz (50g) soft butter to be used at last moment for filling) One free range egg - beaten 3 oz (100g) warm milk 2oz (50g) mixed dried fruit 2oz (50g) chopped dried apricots 4oz (100g) chopped mixed nuts 2oz (50g) clear runny honey (warm) Half tspn salt Method: Place flour, sugar, dried yeast, cinnamon, ginger, melted butter, salt and warm milk into large mixing bowl and mix together with your fingers until you have a soft dough, adding a little warm water if the mix proves too firm Knead until you have a smooth flexible dough, cover and leave in a warm place for at least half an hour or until it has doubled in size Turn the oven to 220C/425F or gas mark 7, so that it is at the right temperature when you need it On a clean smooth surface, knead the dough again for several minutes, flatten it out into a large round with your hands, spread the extra 2oz butter around the centre, toss the nuts and fruit on top, fold edges into the middle, and bash it about a bit, so that the nuts and fruit are firmly embedded into the dough Use a knife to make slashes in the dough and distribute the fruit and nuts evenly, then form the dough into any shape you like, taking care to allowing the surface to remain rough and uneven, then place loaf on a flat baking sheet Cover and leave to rise for at least half an hour or until it becomes puffy Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven, place on wire rack to cool and paint the warm runny honey all over the surface while still hot.