Date and Walnut Loaf recipe
PUBLISHED: 00:00 28 September 2014 | UPDATED: 23:23 28 September 2014
Julie and David Peeks, of Artisan Foodworks share their best-selling Date and Walnut Loaf recipe
Julie and David Peeks, of Artisan Foodworks, write: One of our favourites is the Date and Walnut Loaf and it is probably one of our biggest sellers. We use a malted flour which has malted wheat flakes for texture. The rich flavour of the malted barley and a little dark malted rye gives a nutty flavour. The bread is excellent with a quality smoked salmon and if you are not tempted to consume the whole loaf when it comes out of over, it is excellent toasted. We tend to produce a 400g product, but it can equally be scaled up to create an 800g family sized loaf and can either be moulded as a round or a batard. You do not need a proving basket for this loaf as the dough is quite stiff and it holds its shape.
310g Malted Flour
5g Dry Yeast
160g Cool water
50g Sugared Dates
50g Walnut Pieces
Mix together the water, oil and yeast (if using fresh ass 8g of fresh yeast). Add the flour and lastly the salt. We use cool water to slow the proving process to enable the yeasts to do their work and improve the depth of flavour of the loaf.
Either in a food mixer with a dough hook or by hand work the dough for at least 8 minutes or until the dough has a silky finish and the gluten is formed, this can be checked by looking for the window pane effect. Simply pull a piece of the dough as far as it will go and a thin membrane of dough should hold together without tearing, this is the window pane. If the dough tears it is not quite ready.
Leave the dough to prove for 1 to 2 hours depending upon the ambient temperature and when it has doubled in size
Break the walnuts to release the oils and knead with the dates. The fruit and nuts are not added in the first stage as the sharp edges tear at the gluten structure and affect the quality of the bread.
Shape the dough into a round or a bloomer or batard and place on a baking sheet covered with a plastic bag.
Leave the dough to prove until you can gently depress the dough with your finger and it springs back making the indentation disappear. The dough will take longer than you expect to prove due to the weight of the fruit and nuts combined within it, so please be patient!
Place the dough into a pre-heated oven at 220°C. After 10 minutes turn the oven down to 190°C for a further 20 minutes, being careful not to well-bake the loaf on the outside, which is easily achieved due to the higher sugar content.
Leave the bread to cool on a cooling rack and enjoy.
Artisan Foodworks is based at Burscough and holds breadmaking classes and open days. For more information contact Julie or David on 0845 860 2141.