I have been trying a few new breads recently and keep coming back to my sourdough starter. As it can be a bit more work than making bread with commercial yeast, it can be good to make something a bit different with it. I was surprised to see that this recipe included a large proportion of walnuts and that they were incorporated at the first stage, rather than after the first proving. I wondered if it would make a difference to how well or how quickly the dough would rise but as sourdough is quite temperamental anyway I didn’t really notice any difference. What it did was give the finished loaf a strange, quite interesting tinge of colour which is difficult to see in the photos, but adds an air of authenticity!
I found this recipe in Paul Hollywood’s “How to Bake” but reduced the quantities to use 300g of sourdough starter and end up with one loaf rather than two.
300g sourdough starter
450g strong white bread flour
180g walnuts, chopped
210ml or more of water
Put the sourdough starter, flour, walnuts and salt into a large bowl.
Add about 210ml of warm water and mix to form a soft dough. The amount of water you will need will depend on your starter so add more if necessary.
Tip the dough out onto a surface and knead for around 5-10 minutes, until it is soft and silky and the walnuts are evenly distributed.
Put the dough into an oiled bowl and cover with a tea towel or oiled clingfilm. Leave to rise until at least doubled in size.
When the dough is ready, flour a surface and tip the dough out onto it. Knead briefly by folding the dough repeatedly in on itself to knock out the air.
Shape into a loaf and place in a well oiled tin. Cover again and leave until it is roughly doubled in size.
When the dough is ready, heat the oven to 200ºc. Slash the loaf with a serrated knife.
Bake for around 30-40 minutes, until the loaf is well risen and browned and the base sounds hollow when tapped.
Allow to cool on a wire rack.
This bread is good on its own or with jam or cheese, and is also great toasted.