Bread and Better

Bread and Better

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Brazil Nut Loaf

I have used a sponge (poolish, ferment, whatever you want to call it) when making this loaf. Kind of like the sourdough's little brother, a sponge is where you combine a small amount of yeast with some flour and water, and leave it to ferment for a few hours. This method means you can get a away with using less yeast, resulting in a longer rising time, which gives your bake a much greater depth of flavour.

Makes 1 medium loaf.

For the sponge:
3.5g dried yeast (1/2 of one of those little packets)
250g strong white flour
275ml water

For the loaf:
250g strong white flour
125g Brazil nuts, roughly chopped
100ml water
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon rapeseed oil

To make the sponge, place the flour into a large bowl and rub in the yeast.
Stir in the water and cover with a tea towel.
Leave the sponge to ferment overnight, or for at least 8 hours. When it is ready it should have bubbled up a fair bit.
When the sponge is ready, add the flour, salt, oil, nuts and water and mix to form a dough (adding more water if it feels a little dry).
Tip the dough onto a floured surface and knead for around 10 minutes, or until it feels smooth and elastic.
Return the dough to the bowl and cover with a tea towel.
Leave to rise for about an hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.
When the dough is ready, shape it into your desired loaf (I went for a bloomer, make a long rectangle, tucking in the ends to round them off) and place onto a lined baking tray.
Cover the loaf with a tea towel, and leave to rise for about 30 minutes, or until it has noticeably puffed up.
Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees c.
When the loaf has risen, make a slash down the middle with a sharp knife, and dust the top with a little flour.
Bake the loaf for around 30 minutes, or until it is a rich golden brown and the base sounds hollow when tapped.
Cool on a wire rack before serving.

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