Hazelnut, Oats And Walnut Bread

Hazelnut, Oats And Walnut Bread
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  • 500g strong white flour
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of salt
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of Siúcra light golden brown sugar
  • 10g fresh yeast (5g of dried yeast)
  • 300ml water
  • 50ml olive oil or rapeseed oil
  • 50g oats
  • 25g hazelnuts
  • 25g walnuts
  • 2 x 400g (1lb) loaf tins or 2 proving baskets

Mix the flour, oats and salt in a bowl and make a well in the centre. Crumble the yeast into the water so that it dissolves. Add the water and olive oil to the well.

Don't worry too much about the temperature of water. Water straight from your cold tap is fine. Avoid having the water too hot as that will kill the yeast. All that will happen if your water is cold is that bread will take longer to prove. The longer that bread proves, the more that the flavour will develop. Think of your yeast of a baby that you're giving a bottle to - the water should be nice and tepid.

Bring the dough together with your hands or with a spatula. Turn the dough out on to a clean surface and knead for approximately 10 minutes or until the windowpane effect has been achieved. The dough should be soft and elastic. Add the walnuts and hazelnuts to the dough and knead for 2-3 minutes to distribute evenly throughout the dough. The nuts weren't added at the beginning as the continuous kneading can result in the nuts getting broken up.

Place the dough into an oiled bowl, cover with a damp tea towel or wrap in cling film and leave to prove for 60 to 90 minutes or until doubled in size.

Turn the proved dough out and knock it back*. Divide the dough into two equal portions and shape it into two loaves. Place into two 1lb loaf tins. If you have a banneton proving basket, lightly dust the basket with flour. Place the shaped dough seam side facing up into the proving basket. Cover and allow to prove again for about 50-60 minutes. The loaf should come to just below the rim of your loaf tin.

Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/gas mark 7. Place a roasting tray into the base of the oven. When ready to bake, place the loaves into the oven and pour in water from a boiling kettle into the hot roasting tray which should release a blast of steam.

If using proving baskets, turn the dough out onto a baking tray. Using a sharp knife, cut two incisions across each loaf.

Bake the loaves for about 35- 40 minutes. Remove from the tins and cook for a further 8 minutes just to firm up the sides. Resist the temptation to taste until the loaf cools. Enjoy.

Recipe by Patrick Ryan Of Firehouse Bakery