Walnut and honey soda bread

I’ve been making this bread for a few years now since I first saw the recipe over on the Guardian’s website. I blogged about it briefly on the old blog I used to co-author with Brian when we first moved to the UK. I was thinking about the bread again because I realized that I haven’t posted as many of my favorite recipes on this blog as I really should/want to. I’m hunting down my recipe for pesto lasagna, which I’ve been making for about 15 years now. If I can’t find it written out, I’ll just re-write it (I never work from a recipe for it).

For now, here is a quick, delicious and easy to make bread from a recipe by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

Ingredients:

  • 200g walnuts (2 1/2 cups)
  • 200g honey (roughly 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons)
  • 500g wholemeal flour (between 4 and 4 1/2 cups)
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 10g salt (roughly 2 teaspoons)

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/ gas mark 6 and lightly oil a baking sheet. Divide the walnuts into two roughly equal piles. Put one half into a food processor or a mortar, then crush to a coarse powder. Using your hands, break the other pile of walnuts into large, rough chunks. Put the honey in a pan with 300ml (1 cup + 3 tablespoons) water and heat gently until the honey dissolves.

Put the flour, baking powder, salt and all the walnuts in a large bowl and combine. Pour in the honey water and mix to a soft dough.

Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured surface, shape it into a rough, round loaf and place on the oiled baking tray. Slice a deep cross into the top, going almost right the way through to the baking sheet.

Bake in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, until well risen and golden brown. Remove, set aside to cool and serve immediately – at the very latest, eat within 24 hours

This is what the last loaf I took a photo of looked like:

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