Truthfully, I didn’t hold out much hope for this recipe and was prepared for disappointment. I wasn’t even impressed by how it looked when I sliced it. But oh boy, when I toasted it, buttered it and tasted it I was thrilled! It wasn’t at all dry or bitter but was moist and full of fruity goodness.

I can see this as French toast or spread with nondairy cream cheese or orange marmalade. I used half whole-wheat flour and half unbleached all-purpose flour and mixed in some dried cranberries and some golden raisins, plus a few chopped dates that were dying of old age in the pantry.

This recipe is husband approved! The cook also approves of how quick and easy it is.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups plain nondairy milk

1 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. cider vinegar

2 Tbsp. neutral oil

450 grams (about 3 1/2 cups) flour, half whole wheat okay

3 Tbsp. organic sugar

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

Zest of 1 orange

1 cup dried fruit

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees and top a sheet pan with parchment.

2. In a bowl or measuring cup, mix together the milk, vinegar and oil. Set aside for 10 minutes.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and zest.

4. Make a well in the center of the flour and pour in the milk mixture. Use a silicone spatula to bring it all together. Then add in the dried fruit and mix again. The dough will be loose and shaggy.

5. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, flour your hands, and knead it lightly for just a minute or so until it all hangs together nicely.

6. Mound the dough on the parchment-covered pan and let it flatten it slightly. Use a very sharp knife to cut a 1-inch-deep cross in the top.

7. Bake for 15 minutes at 450 degrees. Then reduce the heat to 400 degrees and bake for another 20 minutes, until lightly brown on top.

8. Wrap the warm loaf in a towel or two to help soften the crust.

Wendy Andresen lives in Camden with her husband, Ray; her Sheltie, Sunshine; and her bunny, Rustle. She welcomes responses to her column at wendyandrayzer@yahoo.com.