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Sourdough with hazelnuts and prunes


Overnight levain

40g sourdough culture

120mL water, body warmth

200g bread flour, e.g. No. 4 Baker's organic

Prepare this the night before, mature for roughly 12 hours, depending on ambient temperature. Cover to avoid drying/evaopration and leave in a warm place, if possible.

Dough mix

540mL water, body temp

550g bread flour

250g wholemeal flour

50g soft butter

20g salt

15g fresh yeast (=about 1.5 tsp instant)

320g levain (from the night before, minus 40g starter)

125g roasted hazelnuts, skinned***

125g dried prunes, roughly chopped]


Add everything to your mixing bowl except for the prunes and hazelnuts. Work the dough for about 3 minutes and check the hydration as you go, bearing in mind that the nuts and prunes will also absorb moisture later when added, so the dough should feel a bit loose at this stage. Finish mixing for another 2 or 3 minutes until the dough feels more cohesive. I recommend scraping the sides of your bowl to make cleaning easier.

Then, add the nuts and prunes and mix it just enough so they integrate fairly evenly through your dough.

Rest 90 minutes, with a fold after 45 minutes, or an hour with no fold.

Divide into two or three pieces and make medium to large loaves (I made mine oblong and round). Prove in a warm place for around an hour, and bake at 220 with a steam pan for 15 minutes, then lower the heat to 210 for about 25 more minutes, keeping an eye on the browning level.

The fruits and nuts make this bread also a great match for nut butters or hazelnut spread.

*** To roast the hazelnuts, spread them out on a baking tray in an oven heated to about 185C for 8 to 12 minutes, checking to make sure they don't turn too dark brown. Leave them to cool a bit, then rub off the loosened skins by hand, leaving golden nuts inside :).