|Maple walnut bread served with a sharp goat cheese|
I love making my own home made bread. There is nothing like it. I love waking up in the morning, knowing that the bread maker has been working its magic all night and there's a fresh, warm, golden loaf waiting for me to slice into.
What are your favourite things to have on bread? I like:
- Cheese (duh)
- Jam and cheese. Gross, I originally thought. My mum used to have it when I was little and I thought it looked disgusting. But then I recently had Laughing Cow and some sour cherry jam together on fresh bread and I have new respect for my mother. The woman is a genius.
- Olive oil and balsamic vinegar
- Butter. Every now and then ;) [tends to be in fancy restaurants!]
- Avocado, salt, pepper and lemon juice
- Grilled slices of haloumi. Oh sorry, that's cheese, isn't it? I already said cheese ;)
- Baked beans. Hot. Not cold.
The bread I make the most is a lovely 9 grain and seed mix I get from Sainsbury's, and I usually add a bit of ground flaxseed in for good measure. But I do love mixing it up every now and then. I made a chilli, roasted pepper, spinach and cheese bread a few weeks back (delish!); I was well into a sourdough craze at the start of the summer (recipe coming soon!); and on the weekend I made maple and walnut bread to go with some fresh goat cheese I'd bought from the cheesemonger up the road. I was inspired after reading Nigel Slater's (my favourite cookery writer) latest book, Tender II: Fruit, which is an absolute work of art. His recipe had raisins and black treacle in it, I substituted maple syrup (maple and walnuts go well together in ice cream so I thought why not?) and the result was a gorgeous bread that only had a hint of sweetness, it was a very tasty, savoury bread with a lovely soft crumb, studded with crunchy walnuts. Even Tom, who claims to not like walnuts or maple syrup that much, broke giant pieces off the warm loaf as it cooled :)
Maple and walnut bread
Inspired by Nigel Slater
The perfect Sunday lunch - a loaf of this bread, one or two gorgeous cheeses, and a ripe apple or pear. Last meal material, definitely.
250g strong wholemeal bread flour
250g strong white bread flour
1 sachet dried yeast
2 tablespoons maple syrup (the proper Canadian stuff!)
A generous pinch of salt
350ml warm water
100g walnut pieces
I didn't put raisins in because Tom doesn't like them, but you could add 250g of them (or any dried fruit you like).
Now, I have a breadmaker, so I just put everything in there, hit "dough" and walk off like the lazy cow that I am :)
If you don't have a breadmaker, then put the flours in a large bowl, add the yeast, maple syrup and salt, then mix in the water with a wooden spoon (or you can put it in a food mixer and use a beater attachment). Keep mixing until it is all smooth. Turn the dough out on to a floured surface and knead it for a few minutes until it feels springy, and not too sticky. Flour (or cooking spray) the bowl and add the kneaded dough to it. Cover with clingfilm or a cloth and leave in a warm place for 45 minutes - 1 hour. By that time it should be doubled in size. Turn the dough out and press the walnuts (and dried fruit if using) into it, kneading it all in as you go. Put the dough in a tin of your choice (I shaped mine into a circle and put on to a large baking tray). Nigel Slater then recommends you leave it for another hour. I suppose you've guessed that I did not :)
Preheat the oven to 220 C. When the oven is hot, put the loaf in and bake for about 25 minutes until golden brown and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Leave it to cool for a while and then serve your favourite way. It will be a little soft when it's fresh - it is probably best a day later, or once it is completely cold. Also wonderful to use for cheese on toast/Welsh rabbit when it's a few days old.
God help me if I ever develop a gluten intolerance.
|I would have taken better pictures if I'd known I was going to do a blog post about it. Ha ha.|
What's your favourite bread? What's your favourite thing to have on top?
Sorry, but I'm a long distance runner. If you want low carbs, you're in the wrong place ;)