A lovely wholemeal/organic white bread with a delicate walnut crunch and sweet pears poached in mead with an extra hint of honey. This little beauty can be made with a 60/40 mix of wholemeal / white or add light rye flour for a little extra flavour. Rye gives it a stronger texture. When I lived in Germany, Birnenbrot was always made with light rye flour. My two young boys however are not fooled by me trying things different on the bread front, so you can use wholemeal which keeps the crumb soft! We adults enjoy this with a bit of gorganzola , camembert, or Roquefort (no need for chutney) and a lovely glass of your favourite red or white wine. The boys love this for breakfast too, warmed up with butter. I used Lindisfarne Mead from a recent trip at Easter, but apple juice works just as well.
14 gm fresh yeast
7 gm salt
28 gm rapeseed oil
300 gm water ( weigh the water!)
2 tblsp of honey
3 tblsp crushed/chopped walnuts
peel and dice 2 pears ( I used rocha pears) not too soft!
2tblsp mead or applejuice
1 tablespoon honey
enough water to the mixture to just cover the pears
Put all the ingredients for the poached in a small saucepan and simmer gently until pears are just soft and juice is slightly thicker than started. Be careful not to let the pears burn. Set aside to cool then remove pears from juice and save syrup. Don't worry if you don't have mead, use applejuice instead.
Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl, yeast with 14 gm of the oil saving about 1 tblsp of the walnuts and the poached pears for later. Work for approx. 10 minutes by hand or until dough is elastic and soft. If you go ouch a bit stiff, loosen with warm water, but I find above quantities work fine. Add rest of oil and continue to work in. Place in a warm bowl for 1/2 hour or until risen, then lift out stretch and then bookfold. Place back into bowl, cover with oiled clingfilm or damp teatowel and let rest to rise for another 1/2 hour.
Knock back when doubled in size and with your hands shape into a slightly flattened rectangle then cover dough with strained poached pears, sprinkle remaining chopped walnuts and roll into oblong for tin or shape into a ball tucking ends in to shape. Leave to rise for approximately an hour, or until doubled in size. Before baking in 220 degree oven, slash with knife and brush with pear syrup and sprinkle on walnuts. Use steam oven or put small pan on bottom of oven to create steam. Bread should take about 45 minutes depending on your oven conditions.
Added by: Jody Doe
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