Stout, Stilton and Walnut Bread

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Makes

    2

    small loaves

Appears in

Historically, stout was a type of porter: a dark beer, made from well-roasted barley, and with a higher alcohol content. Today, though the colour remains the same, it’s usually lower in alcohol, but this makes it an ideal, flavoursome alternative to water when bread making, particularly when teamed with other sophisticated flavours.

FROM MIXING TO OVEN: 4–5 hours
BAKING TIME: 30–40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 350g/12oz/ cups stout or porter
  • 5g/1 tsp fresh yeast
  • 365g/12¾oz/ cups plus 1 tbsp white bread flour
  • 305g/10¾oz/2 cups plus 2 tbsp wholemeal/wholewheat bread flour
  • 10g/2 tsp fine/table salt
  • 10g/1 tsp black treacle/molasses
  • 75g/oz/¾ cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
  • 75g/oz/¾ cup Stilton cheese, cut into 1cm/½in cubes

Method

  1. Mix the stout and yeast together until dissolved, then add the other ingredients, except the walnuts and cheese, and mix thoroughly.
  2. Knead the dough until smooth and stretchy, cover and leave to relax at room temperature for 10 minutes.
  3. Press the dough out gently to form a rectangle, scatter the cheese and nuts over it, roll the dough up and knead until mixed in, trying not to mash the cheese up too much. Cover the dough and leave to prove at room temperature for 3 hours.
  4. Divide the dough into 2 equal-size pieces and shape into balls. Cover and leave to relax for 10 minutes.
  5. Reshape the balls, dust with flour, cover and leave to prove at room temperature for 1 hour, either seam-side down on a floured work surface or seam-side up in floured proving baskets.
  6. Heat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan/425°F/gas 7, with a large baking stone or baking sheet in place. Transfer the loaves to a floured peel, seam-side down. Slash the top of each loaf, then slide them gently onto the baking stone. Bake for 30–40 minutes until golden brown.

SCOTT HAYWARD