Week 3 of the Great british bake off involved bread, bread and more bread ( one of my favourite foods- when made at home- I am not talking about the artificial white sliced bread)! From the classic white bread flavours can be added like this raisin and walnut bread-perfect for breakfast, with cheese….or really anytime of day.
The beauty if bread is that it takes time…so by making a batch you could do something else for a complete hour or so and come back with no problem.
I find that soaking the raisins in boiling water- which can be flavoured gives them a nice softness and contrast to the crunchy walnuts and crust.
If wanting the flavour on the sweeter side add a bit sugar and cinnamon to the flour at the beginning
250g strong wholemeal flour
250g strong white flour
20g fast action yeast
1 tbsp black treacle
1 tsp salt
350ml warm water
250g raisins, soaked in water to become juicier
50g walnuts, roughly chopped
In a large bowl mix the flours, salt and treacle
In a separate small bowl, mix together the yeast with some of the water until the yeast has emulsified
Pour the yeast into flour along with the rest of the water and mix together using a wooden spoon or an electric mixer
Knead the bread until smooth, an even consistency and spring to the touch
Leave the dough on an oiled baking sheet and cover with some oiled clingfilm. Oil is important or everything will just stick! Leave to rise for about an hour in a warm place until it has roughly doubled
On a floured surface, turn the dough out and knead in the raisins and walnuts. You can either split the dough into two manageable loaves or keep it whole
Shape the bread, into the final shape, then leave to rise on an oiled baking sheet, probably be about an hour
Preheat the oven to 200oC
Add the bread to the oven and cook for 25 minutes ( if small size) or 35 minutes ( if larger), but check it is cooked through