Slightly sweet and amazing with blue cheese such as Roquefort, or a lovely strong English Cheddar, this special loaf is quite something to put on the table.
For the paste:
25g chopped walnuts
5g runny honey
pinch of fine sea salt
10g melted butter
For the dough:
170g warm water
6g fresh yeast (or 4g instant)
170g strong white flour
40g strong wholemeal flour
40g dark rye flour
25g coarsely chopped walnuts
25g coarsely chopped dried apricots (preferably organic)
4g fine sea salt
Put all the paste ingredients in a blender until you have a paste.
Stir the yeast and the paste into the water until everything's dissolved.
Mix the flours and salt together in a large bowl, then add the liquid and bring together to form a dough. Leave in the bowl, covered with a tea towel for 10 minutes. Knead for 10 seconds then repeat twice more so that you've kneaded for 30 seconds in total, and the dough's been left for half an hour in total. By the end of this time, the dough should be springy and fully developed.
Cover the bowl with a bin bag or other, hole-free bag for about an hour, until the dough's doubled in size.
Wipe a little vegetable or sunflower oil onto your worktop - a clean j-cloth is good for this as it helps to put the right amount on. Too much oil and your dough will slide all over the place; too little and it will stick.
Flatten out the dough till it's about an inch thick (no need to be too precise about this) and then sprinkle the walnuts and apricots onto one third of it. Fold the dough over into thirds, roll it up and knead it a little to distribute the fruit and nuts throughout the dough. Leave it to rest for 10 minutes, then shape it into a tight boule and put it into a proving basket. Put the basket in a bin bag and puff it up (like you're putting on a bed sheet) to get some air in, so that it doesn't stick to the dough.
Leave it to prove at room temperature for about 45 minutes or until an indentation made with your finger leaves an impression that springs back about half way.
Tip it out of the basket and onto a peel or the back of an oven tray, well dusted with semolina, and slide onto a hot baking stone or oven tray and bake for 40 minutes.
Added by: Anna Haynes
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More than just a baking book, this is a book to introduce you to cooking with flour in general, from popular and classic varieties to ancient grains and gluten free flours.