It’s Veganuary 2019 and while teaching Matt, a neighbour to bake bread we created a combo so good that I promised to post the recipe on here. Chestnut & Hazelnut bread! Uh huh! Uh huh! Think about that for just one moment. Chestnuts and hazelnuts! I know… which I served with walnut butter. What butter? Yes people I said walnut butter and I meant it.
So after all the kind words from the beautiful people out there here is a refined and new classic loaf recipe for every month from October to March. I’m also going to show you how to create some fun cuts and shaping for breads. I refined the original recipe that used one kilo of white flour to use three different types of flour to create a tastier bite of bread dough. This is a fast easy bake yeast so let’s just crack on with it.
1tsp rice malt syrup
200ml boiling wate
400ml cold water
20g fast acting dried yeast
180g cooked chestnuts
700g strong white bread flour
150g wholemeal spelt flour
150g chestnut flour
20g fine sea salt
Vegetable oil for greasing tub and baking trays
Dissolve the rice malt syrup in the boiling water and then add the cold water. This should be just tepid enough to not destroy the yeast.
Add the yeast and stir and then leave for about 15 minutes for a foam to develop as the yeast devours the sugars and gets overexcited. While waiting for this chop all the nuts quite coarsely. Mix the flours and the salt in a large bowl and then when the yeast is ready add it to the dry ingredients and stir into a dough. Flour a work surface and tip out the dough so you can knead it for about 10 minutes. Finally roll out the dough into a large flat disc and scatter all the chopped nuts on. Roll it up and then lightly knead the dough to distribute the nuts evenly. Form a large ball and place in an oiled tub with a lid until double in size.
When the dough has risen lightly punch it back to knock the gas out. When I’m making a bread with nuts, olives or other heavy veggies in I like to let it rise at least twice before I fashion it into loaves. It needs help gassing up to rise later in the oven.
I wanted to make a large loaf and two Pain d’Epi (ear of wheat sticks). Like a stalk of tear and share rolls for soup. To create these we need to roll two long sausages of dough.
Cover both these sticks and the loaf with a tea towel and leave for about 40 minutes to double in size again.
Now it’s time to get all snippy with some scissors to create the wheat ears. The scissors should be angled at 45 degrees as you snip along the top.
I like to snip the very end off too. This creates a sharp top to the finished stalk.
Then you push the points to alternate sides to create the wheat ears.
For the main loaf I opted for a Regency style acorn cut using both the scissors and a knife.
Then with the oven fired up to 200C/390F or GM 6 pop them both in for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes reduce the heat to 180C/350F or GM 5. The Pain d’Epi will need a further 15 – 20 minutes and the acorn loaf about half and hour.
I’ve always loved the shape of these little cuties. Get some soup on people and let’s tuck in.
And there we have them. Sweet chestnut and hazelnut breads. Yummy.
Using the additional spelt and chestnut flours gives this bread a wonderful sweeter taste, colour and texture that is so perfect with the nutty bite. Enjoy Veganuary and enjoy your bread making people.