This week much of the UK has been affected by snow, and we're just not prepared for it! So even with just an inch or two, everything grinds to a halt. A combination of delayed deliveries and panic buying has left shops with little or no bread - what better time to have a go at baking your own?
The bread I have made today is a no-knead sourdough, using the recipe provided when I did the brilliant workshop at Bread Ahead - you can find the recipe online here but you can use any plain bread recipe, either to make by hand or in a bread machine, to make a delicious Apricot and Walnut loaf.
For a large loaf, ie one made from a recipe using around 500g flour, you will need to add
50g walnuts, roughly chopped
75g ready-to-eat dried apricots, quartered (I find snipping them with scissors the quickest way to do it)
If using a bread machine with a hopper to automatically add ingredients, just load the hopper with the fruit and nuts and use your standard programme. Otherwise there will be a beeper to tell you when to add them - make sure you add them at the correct time for them to become evenly distributed without getting broken up.
If making a standard loaf, kneaded by hand, add them at the second kneading stage, and if making the no-knead sourdough from the recipe, add them at the folding stage on day 2. In both cases the technique is the same:
Pat out the dough to form a large rectangle and scatter your fruit and nuts over two thirds of it. Fold the other third over the middle and then again over the final third so that the additions are trapped between the layers. Then pat out into a new rectangle and fold again, working at right angles to the first time. Repeat once more and the fruit all be evenly distributed. Continue with your recipe as normal.
This is delicious served with Camembert cheese, or with St Dalfour Rhapsodie de Fruit Thick Apricot - I have been sent some of this to try, and in the next few days will be bringing you a recipe using it, but today I just couldn't resist spreading some on my apricot and walnut bread for breakfast!