Uff. I tried out three recipes for the blog today and all of them turned out great but now afternoon seems to slip right into night, bypassing any kind of evening, there’s no decent light for taking photos. All the photos I took, no matter what the white balance setting turned out rubbish, bad enough to put you off ever trying any of the recipes. So I’ve decided to sulk about it. There’s not much chance (read none) of me being able to invest in any special photography equipment or set up but the blog must go on. I guess I’ll be cooking first thing in the morning to make the most of any sunlight. Meh, I don’t like mornings.
But there is one way to make mornings a whole lot more appealing. A good breakfast. In my book fresh walnut bread is worth getting up for. Especially when it’s still a little warm and spread with butter and honey or fig jam. It’s fantastic for mopping up soft egg yolks or fried tomato juice; the bread absorbs all the liquid and the walnut pieces provide the occasional nutty crunch. “But wait”, I hear you cry, “who in their right mind gets up 2 hours early just to bake bread?” Err, not me. The trick is to make several mini loaves in advance, part bake, then freeze them so you can have freshly baked bready goodness in a jiffy. The frozen loaves just need to be defrosted over night and popped in the oven for 10-15 minutes to finish cooking. Simples!
Makes 4 small loaves or 2 rings
- 300g strong plain flour
- 100g strong wholemeal flour
- 100g white spelt flour (optional – replace with strong plain flour)
- 1 sachet (7g) instant yeast
- 2 tbsp sea salt
- 320ml warm water
- 150g walnuts, roughly chopped
Combine the flours and yeast in a large bowl. Dissolve the salt in the water and mix into the flour to form a soft dough.
Add the walnuts to the dough and knead for 5-7 minutes (less in a mixer).
Place back in the bowl, cover with a damp cloth and leave in a warm place until doubled in size.
Knock back the dough and shape into four small rolls or two rings. Place on a baking sheet, cover with a damp cloth and rest again until double in size.
Heat the oven to 230°C.
Bake the loaves for 15 minutes or until they have formed a soft crust but are not brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before freezing.
Defrost the bread in the fridge over night. Bake at 230°C for 10-15 minutes until golden.
Alternately, if you want to serve the bread the same day bake for a full 25-30 minutes until the loaves sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.