This recipe for Bran Loaf comes from my gran’s recipe book, but to me it’s synonymous with my mum because she used to make it regularly when I was a kid. It’s a ridiculously easy recipe to put together – the recipe is done by volume, and requires equal parts of each ingredient (except salt). Using 1 cup, or 250ml, of each gives a decent sized loaf.
- 250ml self raising flour
- 250ml caster sugar
- 250ml dried fruit (e.g. sultanas)
- 250ml All Bran breakfast cereal
- 250ml milk
- A pinch of salt
First up, put the All Bran, milk, sugar and fruit together in a big bowl and give it a stir. Leave this for at least 2 – 3 hours.
Next, stir in the flour and salt until you have an even mixture. Pour it into a loaf tin and bake in the oven. My gran’s recipe calls for a “moderate” oven for 1hr 15mins. We went with 180C fan oven and it took about 45 minutes.
You must eat this sliced and smeared with butter. It’s fabulous.
We had a few requests on social media to post the recipe for this, so here goes. It’s basically the same as Diana Henry’s “Bird Pie” which can be found in “A Bird In The Hand“, but was a bit more of an impromptu affair. The pastry making technique is the one we learnt at John Whaite’s Kitchen. This is being written from memory, so I hope it’s accurate! If all else fails, consult Diana Henry – she’s the master behind this, although she uses puff pastry and we made shortcrust.
First, the pastry!
- 100g unsalted butter, cubed
- 200g plain flour
- 2g salt
- 1 large egg
- 2 – 4 teaspoons cold water
Begin by rubbing the butter into the flour and salt with your fingers. Keep going until you have something resembling breadcrumbs. Then make a well in the centre and add the wet ingredients, then use a dough scraper to cut everything together – keep going until it begins to come together as a dough. Finish off by hand, then chill for about an hour.
Whilst that chills, you can get on with the filling:
- 30g butter
- 30g plain flour
- 250ml milk
- 3 tsps dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp creme fraiche
- 2 tsps capers
- 1 large leek
- lots of cooked chicken!
Begin by melting the butter in a saucepan and adding the flour. Mix well so that they are well combined. Take off the heat and gradually add the milk a little at a time, mixing to make sure you end up with a smooth mix without any lumps. Then put back on the heat for a few minutes to cook the flour – it will thicken quite a lot. Then add the mustard, capers and creme fraiche and mix together. Set to one side off the heat whilst you cook the leeks. Cut them into discs and sauté in butter, then add a splash of water, cover and cook for a little longer.
Finally, combine the sauce, the leeks and the cooked chicken and heat everything through.
Now you can roll out your pastry, line the tine and fill it with your filling. Use some milk or egg yolk to glaze the top so it goes glossy when cooked. I guess you could be fancy and do a lattice lid but we didn’t bother and just did a plain one. We cooked it for about 30 minutes at about 200C.
I love this pie so much… I hope you do too!