This bread had two firsts for me – first bread using wholemeal flour and first bread with bits in it.
So, firstly to tackle wholemeal (aka whole wheat) flour. Wholemeal loaves are often considered denser than white, because of the amount of fibre it holds. However they have more flavour coming from the wheat kernel (wholemeal flour uses 100% of the kernel whereas white flour only uses 75%) and is generally considered to be healthier.
From my research, the trick is to give it plenty of time and space. In this recipe, you let the dough sit for 30 minutes before your first knead which I’m assuming provides extra time for fermentation.
An article I read by Paul Hollywood suggested leaving it to ferment for 24 hours, but I’m never going to be that organised and I can’t see how it’s practical.
The bits were another complication, and it took some playing around to get all the walnuts incorporated.
I did notice early on that the dough was quite dry, so added some extra water. I also didn’t feel like I got to the really smooth, elastic stage with the dough after kneading so had a feeling it would be a bit heavy.
In the end, I had nothing to worry about. The bread came out soft, light and delicious!
Honey and walnut loaf (James Morton)
300g wholemeal flour
200g strong white flour
1 x 7g sachet dried yeast
125g full fat milk, room temperature
30g runny honey
200g tepid water
200g walnuts, whole
In a large bowl, rub together both flours, yeast and salt – rubbing the yeast and salt in at opposite ends of the bowl. Remember, salt kills yeast!!
Add the milk, honey and water and combine into a wet dough. (Note: this is where mine looked a bit too dry so I added a bit more water)
Cover the dough and rest for 30 minutes. Once rested, knead for at least 5 minutes or until it’s beginning to come together. Add the walnuts, and keep kneading for another 5 minutes until they are distributed and the dough is really stretchy and noticeably smooth.
Cover and rest the dough for 1-1.5 hours, or until doubled in size.
Once rested, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Shape as desired.
Prove on a floured board for another hour or until doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 240C, then turn down to 210C when ready to bake. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until light and golden brown.