Hyperactive walnut plait

I was given a recipe for this on the back of a leaflet from a new local deli.


I was a bit surprised about the quantity of yeast – 14g instant yeast for a 1lb loaf.  The dough didn’t take much kneading to be silky smooth – one of the few loaves I’ve made where I haven’t been fed up with it staying stuck to my fingers.  After knocking back the dough, the recipe said it should be left to prove for an hour, but the yeast was so active that this was far too long.  I soon realised this, and put the oven on, but by the time it was hot enough the dough was starting to sag with over-proving, and my plump little plait was looking a bit flabby.

It was tasty (so it should be, with all that added butter and salt) but was slightly dry – overcooked? – and I wonder if a shorter proof might have prevented this.  I’ll make it again but perhaps with less yeast, and with a closer eye on the rising speed.

Walnut loaf baked

The recipe was originally from Paul Hollywood, a local baker who supplies Harrods (!), via the monthly newsletter I get from Karl’s in Canterbury.

Karl’s is a new deli which sells all sorts of British and imported goodies (including some rather nice wines) and serves a range of interesting coffees and too-tempting pastries which you can enjoy in the seated area round the back. They do light lunches too, but I’ve not tried one yet –  I stop there for a coffee when I’m shopping and usually manage to leave with some olives or coffee beans.  The shop has a welcoming feel – sort of rustically contemporary – and the owners are friendly, knowledgeable and enthusiastic about their wares. I do hope they manage to ride out the recession: they’re a great addition to the town.

The recipe:

400 g wholemeal flour

100 g white flour

14 g instant yeast

300 ml water

14 g salt

50 g butter

190 g walnuts

40 ml walnut oil


~ by jobes on July 22, 2009.

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