Guernsey Gâche is a local dish of the Channel Island of Guernsey. It is a special bread made with raisins, sultanas, cherries and mixed peel. In Guernésiais, gâche means cake.
Guernsey Gâche (Fiona Girard version with a Cutler twist)
250g dried berries (sultanas are traditional but can use any combination of raisins, mixed peel, sultanas, dried cranberries etc)
Zest and juice of 1 orange
500g strong white bread flour plus extra for dusting
14 g easy blend yeast
1 tbsp of light brown sugar
Pinch of nutmeg
Pinch of salt
180ml full fat Guernsey milk at room temperature
1 egg, beaten
65g unsalted Guernsey butter, softened
Put the berries in bowl and add juice and zest of 1 orange. Mix and leave to infuse for 30 minutes.
Put the flour, yeast, sugar, salt and fruit mixture into bowl and stir well.
Add milk, egg butter.
If dough is too sticky, add a little more flour. If too dry, add a little more milk.
On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough until smooth and springy – 5-10 mins.
Place in a lightly oiled bowl and cover loosely with a damp tea towel or plastic bag.
Leave in a warm place but not direct sun for 1 hour or until doubled in size- can be up to 2 hours.
Turn out dough and knead for a few minutes and then shape into an oval and place in lightly oiled 900g loaf tin.
Cover with damp tea towel or plastic bag and leave for 30 mins until well risen.
Pre-heat oven to 200°C or 190°C (Fan oven).
Bake for 25 mins until golden and risen.
Cool in tin before cooling.
Serve sliced with more Guernsey butter or toasted with a cup of tea
Each parish within the island has its own version and most families have adapted it one stage further by adding different spice or using lard or no egg.
If you have no Guernsey butter or Guernsey milk then any other is almost as good.