Today in France it is Pentecost Monday and another bank holiday, the forth and final one for May. All these long weekends would usually mean lots of days out for us, lycra-clad and following marked cycling routes, browsing the vide greniers (car boot/yard sales) for a bargain or sampling tasty delights at local food fêtes, but we have been unlucky. The first long weekend and Ade was struggling with a bad back, the second weekend and both Ed and Ade were suffering with heavy colds and this weekend it has rained, rained and rained some more. The bikes are gathering dust, the ducks are turning the garden into a mud swamp, the only things thriving in the potager are the weeds and we are cold, damp and fed up. The weather forecast for the week doesn’t show much of an improvement and we may even have a frost on Thursday (at the end of May!). In an attempt to cheer myself up I have decided to bake and thought I would share my Walnut Bread recipe with you. The oven will warm the kitchen and the fresh bread will smell and taste delicious, perfect comfort food.
½ teaspoon of dried yeast
300g strong white bread flour
1 teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon of olive oil
170 ml of water
50g of shelled and chopped walnuts (they do taste better if you toast them first)
Combine the flour, yeast, salt and walnuts in a mixing bowl. Make a well in the middle and add the olive oil and warmed water. Bring together to form a dough, then turn onto a floured surface and knead for about ten minutes until smooth and elastic. Form into a ball shape and place in a greased bowl or cake tin, cover with cling film and a towel and leave to rise for at least an hour. Pre heat the oven to gas mark 6 (200c) and when risen nicely cook for about 30 minutes, or until golden on top and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Sorry to be vague, but my oven is a little temperamental. This bread is perfect with homemade jam.