Posts Tagged ‘walnut’

Pumpkin and walnut loaf

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

Pain potimarron-noix

I devised this recipe for a competition run by that wonderful bread resource Votre Pain last year but for some reason it never made it onto the blog – until now.

The two stars of this loaf were chosen because they’re the only garden produce in which I can claim to be more or less self-sufficient. Both pumpkins and walnuts, if stored carefully, will stay in good shape until the next harvest with no need for sugar or vinegar, and without using electricity.

The vital supporting role goes to my home-made leaven, which I keep at room temperature and feed regularly with whole rye flour. A leaven refreshed with white bread flour would do just as well.

150g leaven
100g whole rye flour or white bread flour
100ml barely tepid water

500g wholemeal bread flour
½ tsp salt
About 150ml barely tepid water
1 tsp olive oil
200g raw pumpkin
60g walnuts

The night before baking, stir into the leaven first the 100ml of water, then the rye or white bread flour.

Next morning, mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. Stir in the leaven, followed by 100ml of water. Mix thoroughly, then add more water gradually, a tablespoonful at a time, to form a slightly stickly dough. Cover with a clean teacloth and leave to rest for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut the pumpkin into cubes of about a centimetre. Some pumpkins need to be peeled, but the skin of the Hokkaido variety I used is perfectly edible and adds lovely deep-red flecks to the finished loaf. Roughly chop the walnuts.

Smear a work surface with a little olive oil and turn out the dough, which should already be feeling slightly elastic. Knead it quickly – less than a minute will do – cover with the cloth and leave again for 15 minutes.

Gently incorporate the pumpkin cubes and chopped walnuts into the dough. If it starts to stick, add a little more oil. Shape into a ball, cover again with the cloth and leave for an hour or more, until the dough has doubled in volume.

Form the loaf into your favourite shape. Place it on a well-floured baking tray, cover and leave to rise again for 30-45 minutes. Preheat the oven to 220°C (Gas 7), with a baking stone if you have one.

Cut a few slashes in the top of the loaf and slide it quickly onto the baking stone (or put the tray in the oven). Bake for 40-50 minutes and let the loaf cool completely on a rack before slicing.