Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Delicious Nut Bread

I seem to be following a bit of a bread theme this week, but let’s face it, we all need a bit of post-holiday comfort – and what better comfort food is there than fresh homemade bread?

This recipe is loosely based on a Toasted Macadamia Nut bread recipe from Sonia Allison’s The Complete Bread Machine Book, and I do use macadamia nuts in it often. I don’t bother to toast them though. However this bread is also delicious with any other chopped nuts you might like - walnuts, pecans, even cashew or pistachio nuts - and of course you can also make it with a mixture of nuts as well. 

If you don’t have an automatic raisin and nut dispenser on your bread machine, you will need to listen out for the ‘raisin beep’ so you can add the nuts. I use olive oil in this recipe, but I have used walnut oil when I have made this bread with walnuts in the past - it gives a really walnut-y flavour hit. This bread goes really well with just about anything, and makes a great side for a hearty stew. It’s also delicious lightly toasted and spread with butter and jam for breakfast or at teatime.

¾ cup chopped nuts
1¼ cups water
3 tablespoons vegetable or nut oil
3 cups strong white bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon white sugar
2 teaspoons instant or fast-acting dried yeast

Pour the water into the bread maker bucket. Add the oil and then sprinkle half the flour over top. Sprinkle with the salt and sugar and then put the rest of the flour on top. Mound the yeast into the centre.

Fit the bucket into the bread maker and set it to the cycle recommended in your bread maker manual - the raisin or fruit loaf setting is a good one. On some bread machines this is called the ‘special’ setting.

When the bread is ready, carefully shake it out of the bucket on to a wire cooling rack and stand right way up. Leave the loaf for at least an hour before cutting (and removing the paddle if necessary).

You can brush this loaf with a little melted butter while it is still hot if you like, or with a bit of warmed jam or honey. Apricot jam glaze tastes amazing on walnut nut, and honey makes a great glaze if you have used pecans in this bread.

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