Fruit and Nut Bread
IRemember when I was pregnant, one thing I was obsessed with was bread… This bread I absolutely love, as it has all the goodness of coarsely chopped nuts and dried fruit. It is absolutely scrumptious as made with honey instead of sugar, and I have mixed water with milk to make it nice and soft….
The aroma is absolutely gorgeous when it bakes, and makes you want to cut through that round loaf when just out of the oven. Which is actually not advisable, as bread needs to rest and cool down before tucking in to it with knob of butter and lovely home made strawberry jam….
So here you go, recipe of my yeasty goodness..
100g roasted and roughly chopped walnuts
50g roasted pine nuts
100g roasted and roughly chopped Hazelnuts
50g chopped apricots
300g strong wholewheat flour
200g strong bread flour, plus a little extra for dusting
1 slightly rounded teaspoon salt
7g fast action dried yeast
50g runny honey
30g melted butter
200ml luke warm water
100ml luke warm milk
Begin by combining the flours, salt and yeast together in a mixing bowl(make sure the yeast and salt will be placed in different sides of the bowl). Next measure(200 ml) water and (100ml)milk in a measuring jug and whisk in the honey and the melted butter.
Next, tip one third of the liquid into the flour, work with the fingers to combine. Add half of the rest of the water/milk and work the dough. If yo feel that if the whole liquid will be added the dough might get too wet- keep it out. It should have the sort of consistency that leaves the side of the bowl clean and yet not be so soft that it clings to your hands and sticks to the work surface.
You can flour the surface before kneading, but I tent to use oil on the worktop, tip out the dough and roll up your sleeves, as get ready to work smile emoticon Turn the dough out on to work surface and knead for minimum 10 minutes – try to avoid using any additional flour(if using it) because, as you knead, the dough will become less sticky and more bouncy. Knead until it will be nice and even in texture, when you split the dough in your hands- gluten strands are seen and lovely smooth texture reached.
Press the dough out into a rough square, and sprinkle the dried fruit and nuts over the surface. Roll up the dough, Swiss-roll style, then knead briefly again to distribute the fruit and nuts evenly. Now pat it out into an oblong or round( work the ball by connecting the loaf in the bottom) and transfer dough to the baking sheet. Now cover the loaf with a piece of oiled clingfilm then leave this in a warm place for about 1¼ hours or until the dough has almost doubled in size.
Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 6, 400°F (200°C).
Remove the cling film from risen loaf and transfer it to the centre of the oven, slash deep cross or lines on top of the loaf, dust it with flour and pop in to the oven to bake about for 35 minutes. Turn the loaf on to an oven-gloved hand and tap the base. The loaf should sound hollow – if it doesn’t put it back in the oven for 5 more minutes, upside down.
When it’s done- leave to cool on a wire rack