Honey, fruit and nut loaf



I’ve really gotten into the basic bread recipe from River Cottage Bread Handbook. It combines sourdough starter and yeast so it does not take as long to make as a pure sourdough and the method is very easy to follow + easy to experiment with adding extras like fruit and nuts. This weekend I did a take on the Festival bread, using a combination of different flours and yoghurt instead of cider and a combination of walnuts, raisins, dried apricots and rolled oats inside. It’s a meal in itself – crunchy crumb, earthy, nutty and sweet texture, delicious.

Here’s the method: Mix 200g strong white, 150g strong wholemeal and 150g spelt flour with 1 and a half teaspoon quick acting yeast, 100ml sourdough starter, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 tablespoon rapeseed oil, 150ml water and 150g Greek yoghurt in a bowl with your hand until it forms a dough. Knead in the mixer for 6 minutes or 10-15 minutes by hand. Flatten the dough then sprinkle some rolled oats, chopped dried apricots (about 3-4), a few chopped walnuts and some raisins (in total, just about a handful of fruits and nuts). Knead briefly to combine then shape into a ball and leave, covered, in an oiled bowl for an hour. Deflate, shape into a ball again and leave for another hour. Then deflate one more time, roll up tightly, then flatten again and blanket fold, shaping into a loaf. Roll the loaf in some rye flour then leave to prove, on a flour dusted board, covered with a plastic bag, for anything between an hour and two and a half hours, depending on room temperature. Yesterday was quite warm so I left mine for an hour and a half. In the meantime, place the baking sheet or a hot stone in the centre of the oven and an empty sandwich tin on the bottom (for a steamed oven, improves the crumb) then heat the oven to its highest setting – I usually heat the oven to 250C. Boil some water in the kettle if you are steaming the oven. Transfer the loaf to a floured peel, slash with a serrated knife and, if you are steaming the oven, spray the loaf with water then transfer onto the stone/ baking sheet and fill the sandwich tin with boiled water. Bake for 10 minutes at 250 then turn the heat down to 180C and bake for another 35 minutes.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s