Dan Lepard's walnut bread

Makes 1 loaf



For the dough
100g/3oz walnut paste
(see below)
275g/9fl oz water
1 teaspoon of fresh yeast
350g/111/2oz white flour
100g/31/2oz wholemeal flour
50g/2oz rye flour
2 teaspoons of salt
50g/2oz honey
100g/31/2oz halved walnut oil for kneading

For the walnut paste

40g/11/2oz walnuts
20g/3/4oz melted butter
40g/11/2fl oz water
A pinch of salt

For the walnut paste, place the walnuts, water, salt and butter in a grinder and mix until you have a soft smooth paste. Remove and leave to one side.

Whisk together water and yeast. Leave to one side. Combine the flours and salt in a large bowl. Next, whisk the honey in with the yeasted water; add walnut paste and stir into the dry ingredients.

When combined into a soft sticky dough, add walnuts and squidge together. Pat a tablespoon of olive oil over the top and sides of the dough. Cover the bowl and leave for 10 minutes.

Tip the dough on to an oiled, floured work surface and lightly knead about 10 times. Round the dough into a ball, and return to the bowl. Cover and leave in a warm place for 15 minutes. Knead once more and return the dough to the bowl for a further 30 minutes.

Line a deep bowl with a clean tea-towel dusted with flour and place the dough in, seam-side up. Cover with the cloth, and leave to rise in a warm place for 60 to 90 minutes, until almost doubled in height.

Preheat the oven to 210C/410F/ Gas 6. Turn the dough out on to a floured baking sheet; cut a checkerboard pattern into the top of the loaf. Bake in the centre of the oven for about an hour or until the loaf is rich brown and, when tapped, sounds hollow. Cool on a wire rack.
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