I made some walnut bread the other day and instead of just throwing in some walnuts to my bread dough, I made a walnut paste first, and the bread came out so much nicer.
I was inspired as always by the wonderful Dan Lepard, but ended up tinkering with his recipe to fit it around the basic recipe I use for bread, I was really pleased with the results and it works as well for toast as it does sandwiches.
I probably should have let the bread bake for about another 10 minutes than what I did, however that hasn’t stopped us tucking in and covering it with salty butter.
Ingredients for Bread Dough
450 bread flour
150g spelt flour
a couple of handfuls of oats
400ml of tepid water
1 tbsp of dry yeast (or use fresh if you can get it and adjust weight)
50 g walnuts
25g of very soft or melted butter
a couple of desert spoons of honey
Put the yeast into a bowl along with the oats and add the tepid water. Cover and leave to bubble for about 25 minutes.
Measure the 2 flours and 100g of walnut halves and put them all into a large bowl, add some salt and mix in well. Make a “doke” in the centre of the flour.
Finely mill the 50g of walnuts. Add them to the soft/melted butter along with the honey. Mix together .
Pour the yeasty oat mix in to the dry ingredients and then add the walnut paste.
Mix the the dough together. Kneed the dough.
Put the dough into a clean, lightly oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave to rise until the dough has doubled.
Carefully knock the dough back, shape, put onto a baking parchment lined tray (I have a wooden proving basket which I put my dough in for about 30-45 minutes then tip the dough out onto a baking sheet and have found this helps make for a lovely loaf as it supports the dough while it rises), dust with some flour and leave to rise.
After about 20 minutes turn your oven on to gas 7. Let your oven get nice and hot and then bake your bread for between 35 and 45 minutes.
When ready, remove form the oven and allow to cool on a cooling rack before eating.
This has been lovely with a salty butter, and I think it would have been so good with some home-made blackberry jam, but I don’t have any of that left to try…..maybe this autumn.