Welcome to my first ever post! And It’s only fitting I post about something I love, and I love bread, all types of bread.. white, brown, multi-seed, sourdough, ciabatta, rye..you name it . I LOVE IT.
I find baking the most daunting, especially bread. It always seems so technical and scientific that with one wrong move it can all go pear shape. Add that to the time it takes for proofing, the whole process can be time consuming and tricky all at once . So here’s one recipe I’ve given a go, a fabulous walnut and sultana bread, lovely in the morning in the morning smothered in butter with hot flat white. Ok so it’s meant to be raisins but I didn’t have any in the cupboard, besides they’re almost the same aren’t they?
The original recipe was taken from the one and only Delia Smith.
Attempts : 3
4 oz(100g) walnut pieces
4 oz(100g) sultanas (or you can use raisins or 50/50 mix of both)
5 oz(150g) strong wholewheat four
1 slightly rounded teaspoon salt
1 slightly rounded teaspoon easy-bake dried yeast (I’ve used Allinson Easy BAke Yeast, but I’m sure others would work)
1 level teaspoon brown sugar (I’ve used dark brown sugar)
1 teaspoon walnut oil
- In a bowl mix all the flours, salt and yeast
- In a measuring jug whisk 7fl oz (200ml) warm water with the sugar and walnut oil.
- Add the liquid mixture tot he flour and then mix into a dough. I’ve never needed to add extra flour or water but as Delia says add extra water or four if the dough is too dry or sticky. As long as you can clean the side of the bowl with the dough and it doesn’t stick to your hands much then you’ll be fine.
- Then on a lightly floured worktop knead, knead some more, and then knead again.. for at least 5 mins.
- Press the dough out with your hands into a square. It’s supposed to be a 20cm square, but the most I’ve managed is about 15cm square.
- Sprinkle the walnuts and sultanas ( or raisin) over the surface and roll into a swiss roll and knead a little again to try and get the mixture to distribute evenly. I found this a little tricky as the mixture kept popping out, if this happens just press it back into the dough and keep folding until it sticks. Its ok if there appears to be a lot of the mixture on the surface if you’ve kneaded a little you’ll find them all over inside too.
- Pat it out into a round shape and place on to a baking sheet. You can also place your dough mixture into a loaf tin if you wish. Cover with oiled cling film and place somewhere warm for just over 1 hour to until it has doubled in size. Pre-heat the oven to 200°C (400°F) or gas mark 6.
- Remove the cling film and place the loaf into the enter of the over. Bake for 30 – 35 mins or until goldeney-brown. When you turn the loaf over and knock on the on the base it should sound hollow , this is how you know it’s done. I’m still trying to work out what hollow bread sounds like so for the last 3 times I’ve been judging by the colour alone.
- EAT! – let it cool on a wire racker eat it warm but be sure to serve with lots of butter and some scrummy strong cheese.
1st Attempt : 1st proof for 1.5 hrs and I kneaded again before I proofed for 2nd time overnight in a warm place. Result : Good bake, nice size but because I couldn’t tell if it was hollow I let it get too brown all over
2nd Attempt : Accidentally added too much yeast, almost double the amount and 2 proofs the sam was the 1st attempt. Result : Complete disaster, too flat, couldn’t check if it was hollow because I couldn’t get it off the tray.
3rd Attempt : Only it proof for just over an hour the time, not quite doubled in size but close enough. Result : good bake, nice size but still stuck to the tray a little, next time I will be sure to take Delia’s advice and greece the tray a little first..
Top Tip : I also placed a tray of water on a shelf underneath the loaf, the steam apparently gives the crust a little extra crunch.