I had a sudden urge to make bread – that happens, sometimes – but didn’t have many ingredients at home.
There was a bag of walnuts that would go rancid pretty soon unless I used them – and that’s what I did.
I used a recipe from a Brazilian website and, instead of filling the bread with apricots and jam, I used brown sugar and chopped walnuts.
The dough is soft and comes together really quickly. I liked it so much I want to make it again, using apple and cinnamon for filling - can’t wait to try it.
Walnut braided bread
240ml lukewarm milk
15g fresh yeast
6 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
500g all-purpose flour, sifted
1 egg, lightly beaten
75g unsalted butter, softened
80g brown sugar
100g walnuts, chopped
1 tablespoon milk - to brush the bread
Grease and flour a 28cm X 40cm baking sheet.
For the filling: mix both ingredients in a bowl. Set aside.
For the dough: pour the milk in a bowl, add the yeast, sugar and salt and stir. Add 120g of the flour and mix until the mixture is uniform.
Cover with cling film or a piece of plastic and let it rise, in a warm place, for 40 minutes.
Add the egg and the butter to the dough and mix well. Add the remaining flour gradually and knead for 10 minutes or until it is smooth and elastic – it will not be sticky.
Place the dough back in the bowl, cover with cling film/plastic and let it rise, in a warm place, for 25 minutes – it will double in size.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough making a 35cm X 45cm rectangle. Divide this rectangle in 3 equal parts. Brush each part with just a little water and sprinkle with 1/3 of the filling. Roll each part as if they were jelly rolls, pinching the seams to “lock” the filling inside.
Place the three rolls of dough on the prepared baking sheet, placing the seams down – a detail I forgot. :)
Braid the rolls and pinch the ends together.
Let it rise again for 30 minutes – 10 minutes before you bake the bread, pre-heat the oven to 180ºC.
Brush the bread with milk and bake it for 40 minutes or until it’s golden and cooked through – if it starts browning too fast, cover loosely with foil.
Makes 12 slices - I got a 1.050g bread.