I enjoy baking bread, although at the moment, I don’t have the time for any particularly complicated recipes. The bread looks quite simple but has a wonderful, subtle flavour and plenty of substance without being too brick-like. It is fantastic served on its own: it would be great to accompany a Ploughman’s lunch or similar; it’s lovely toasted and buttered or spread with honey; it is lovely with any root vegetable soups and it makes a mean sandwich filled with a nice mature cheddar cheese and some slices of russet apple.
The best thing about it is that it really only requires a few minutes of your time to prepare – what takes the time is the proving, so this is the kind of recipe I make on a day when I’m working from home – I’ll just mix in the Kitchen Aid and pop it in a warm cupboard to do its work whilst I get on with mine.
Honey and walnut granary loaf
Makes 1 large loaf
600g granary bread flour plus extra for kneading and sprinkling
7g quick action dried yeast
1 heaped teaspoon sea salt
100g walnut pieces
380 ml tepid water
2 tablespoons runny honey
You will also need two large sheets of lightly oiled cling film and a lightly greased 2lb/900g loaf tin
Place the flour, yeast, salt and walnuts into a bowl. Stir to combine.
Pour the honey into the water and stir well. Pour into the dry mixture.
Knead the dough for around 10 minutes until smooth, elastic and only slightly sticky to the touch. Place into a bowl, cover with oiled cling film and place in a warm place for an hour or so, until it’s doubled in size.
Once the dough has risen, knead for another 5 minutes before placing into the tin. Cover with the second sheet of cling film and allow to prove for a further hour.
After around 45 minutes, preheat your oven to 220C.
And after an hour, your loaf should now be well-risen. Remove the cling film, sprinkle the top with flour and bake for 25-30 minutes until the bottom sounds hollow when tapped. Allow to cool fully on a wire rack before slicing.