Treacle and walnut loaf
- August 2015
- Makes 12 slices
- Hands-on time 20 min, oven time 45 min, plus proving
Chef and baking supremo Peter Sidwell shares the recipe for his family’s favourite loaf.
- 6.6g (0.8g saturated)
- 34.7g (3.3g sugars)
- 350g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
- 150g rye flour
- 7g instant yeast (see Know-how)
- 10g fine salt
- 50g black treacle
- 310ml warm water
- Sunflower oil for greasing
- 100g walnuts, toasted in a medium oven for 8-10 minutes
- 30g rolled oats
- Put both flours into a large mixing bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer), then add the yeast and salt. Mix the treacle into the warm water in a jug and pour over the flours.
- To make the dough by hand, make a claw shape with your hand and work the mixture around the bowl, bringing it together into a soft ball. Transfer to a clean work surface (lightly flour it if the dough is sticky) and knead for 10 minutes or until the dough springs back to the touch. To make the dough in a mixer with a dough hook, run on a medium speed for 5-8 minutes. When fully kneaded, put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with cling film and leave to rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size (for even more flavour in your crust, see Peter’s Rules and Make Ahead).
- Scoop out the dough, then stretch it out across the work surface. Scatter the toasted nuts over it, then roll up. Knead for 1 minute, then shape into a round or oval loaf. Spray or brush with a little water, then scatter over the oats.
- Put on a non-stick baking sheet and leave to prove in a warm place for 40 minutes or until almost twice the size. Heat the oven to 180°C/ 160°C fan/gas 4 (see Peter’s Rules).
- Bake the risen dough for 40-45 minutes until golden. To test if the loaf is cooked, turn it over and rap the underside. If it makes a deep, hollow sound, it’s cooked. If not, put back on the oven shelf and bake for 5-10 minutes more. Cool completely on a wire rack, then slice to serve.
Just before putting your dough in the oven, spray or brush a little water on top. As the bread bakes the water turns to steam and slows the formation of the crust, so the loaf can rise properly. Also, as steam transfers heat better than dry air, it browns the crust more easily, adding flavour. You can also spray a little water into the oven just as you put the loaf in, for an extra blast of steam.
Once you’ve put the bread in, keep the door closed until almost ready – opening it will let out all the steam you put in at the beginning.
Make the dough up to 24 hours ahead, put in an oiled bowl, then cover and leave to rise in the fridge. Bring up to room temperature, then knock back (push the air out) and continue from step 3. Freeze the bread as soon as it’s cooled in a sealed container for up to 1 month. Defrost, then heat through in a 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6 oven for 5 minutes.
Instant (also called easy- bake) yeast can be added directly to the flour. Active dried yeast must first be reactivated in liquid, before adding to the mix.
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