A tasty bread with a lovely sweet hint...
I don't claim to be a fantastic bread maker, but I seem to be able to always turn out a decent loaf. This method is certainly not traditional, in that I use a food processor to take care of all the hard work, but it can be made the "proper" way if you prefer. Just bring the ingredients together in a large bowl, stick on your favourite album and knead your way through two songs! You'll be able to carry on following the instructions from then on. The finished bread has quite a dense texture - but isn't dry at all. The little hits of sweetness and crunch from the apricots and walnuts just elevates it from a regular wholemeal loaf. It's great with savoury dishes or just toasted and spread with lashings of Vegan butter.
500g wholemeal flour (with extra for dusting)
3/4 cup chopped dried apricots
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp dried yeast
2 tsp salt
320 ml warm water
First we need to get the yeast activated. Add your sugar and yeast to the water and stir to combine. Leave for about ten minutes until frothy. Add your flour, apricots, walnuts and salt to the bowl of your food processor, with the dough attachment in place. (If you're making by hand, place all these ingredients into a large bowl and give it a stir.)
Pour in your yeast mixture and process for about 2 minutes until a lovely silky dough is formed. (If you're making by hand, make a well in your dry ingredients and pour in your yeast mix. Bring to a dough and knead for about 8 to 10 minutes).
Once you're happy with your dough in the processor,, turn it out onto a floured surface and give it a quick knead to bring it all together. (Here's where both methods continue the same way from now.) Place into a large clean bowl, dust with a little flour and cover with either a tea towel or a sheet of cling film. Leave in a warm place until the dough has roughly doubled in size (about an hour.)
Preheat your oven to 210C.
Uncover your dough and punch out the air. Back onto your lightly floured surface and knead lightly again and shape into a loaf. Place onto a baking tray lined with a sheet of baking paper and, using a sharp knife, cut several slashes into the surface of the dough. Lightly dust with flour and cover again for a further 30 minutes for its final rise.
Uncover and place it in your oven on the tray.. Allow to bake for approximately 20 minutes. Remove the tray after this time and turn the loaf over onto its top, so the bottom gets nice and crusty too. Place back into the oven for a further 10 to 15 minutes. The loaf is done when it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Leave to cool slightly before slicing and enjoying. I hope you enjoy this bread as much as we do.