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Friday, 7 September 2012

Recipe for walnut and honey soda bread.

Sometimes, guests request our recipes and I often have very good intentions to share them and then, they don't quite make it to the blog. So, here is one which is often requested, if there's another that I've promised and it's never appeared, please leave a comment below to remind me and I'll do my best! Thanks to Edinburgh Cake and 21st Century Urban Housewife for prompting the eventual posting of this one.
Back to the bread, Chris baked these loaves last week and will bake them again in the morning. We have a couple of books from the River Cottage Handbook series and for this he uses handbook three, Bread. 

The recipe is very similar to the one at the link and copied below (for those too lazy to click). 

In terms of our tips, Chris doesn't warm the honey and water, he just adds them together and he finds that 275ml is more than enough water (but see how you find your dough). He also told me to mention that he kneads to a firm dough, not a soft dough as Hugh suggests and tends to make two round loaves from these quantities baking only for 20-25 minutes as that's when the bread sounds hollow when tapped on the base and is ready. Be warned, this bread won't last long and there's no danger of it surviving past 24 hours in our house!

Served with duck rillettes and plums last weekend.

Sweet and savoury at the same time, with an incredible depth of flavour, this quick bread is wonderful with cheese. Serves six.
200g walnuts
200g honey
500g wholemeal flour
4 tsp baking powder
10g salt
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/ gas mark 6 and lightly oil a baking sheet. Divide the walnuts into two roughly equal piles. Put one half into a food processor or a mortar, then crush to a coarse powder. Using your hands, break the other pile of walnuts into large, rough chunks. Put the honey in a pan with 300ml water and heat gently until the honey dissolves.
Put the flour, baking powder, salt and all the walnuts in a large bowl and combine. Pour in the honey water and mix to a soft dough.
Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured surface, shape it into a rough, round loaf and place on the oiled baking tray. Slice a deep cross into the top, going almost right the way through to the baking sheet.
Bake in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, until well risen and golden brown. Remove, set aside to cool and serve immediately - at the very latest, eat within 24 hours. 

The same bread with duck rillettes and rhubarb, earlier this year at a private dinner at Hoscote House.

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