Ever since my first visit, the boulangerie Auzet has been one of my favourite places in Cavaillon, Provence. As far as I know, this recipe of theirs is the only bread in the world with a wine-induced flush on every slice - one reason I like it so.
500g strong white bread flour (type 55, if possible)
15g fresh yeast
150g red wine and about 150g water
300g chopped walnuts
Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. Make a well in the middle and crumble in yeast. Add red wine and water slowly and, with your hands, draw flour in towards the well until all incorporated, adding enough water for a soft dough.
Knead for about 5 minutes or until dough leaves the sides of the bowl. Mix walnuts in evenly. Turn out on to a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 more minutes, or until smooth. Shape dough into a ball and place in an oiled bowl and cover with clingfilm or a damp tea towel. Leave to rise away from draughts at about 25C for half an hour.
Divide and shape dough into 2 or 3 equal-sized balls. Place these on a clean, floured tea towel and cover. Leave to rise again for about 15 minutes. "Knock back" each ball, fold over several times and shape into 25cm long loaves. Wrap loaves in a clean, floured tea towel and leave to rise at 25C for about 35 mins, or until doubled in size.
Pre-heat oven to 230C/gas mark 8. Transfer loaves to a floured or greased baking sheet. Brush with water and slash the tops. Bake for 10-15 minutes, turn down to 200C/gas mark 6 and bake for 10-15 minutes or until the bread is risen and sounds hollow when tapped underneath. Cool on a wire rack.
© Peter Mayle, from 'Confessions of a French Baker' (Time Warner Books £9.99)Reuse content