Swedish Apricot Walnut Bread
So I come here to post about this weeks Lemon Posset Cakes and I am greeted with a guilty trail of incomplete posts. And by incomplete I mean they are complete only in title and hastily uploaded photos. Clearly the blog fairies have been on strike. How could they not piece together an amazing few post with such incredible photos...
Apparently four weeks ago I made this Swedish Apricot Walnut bread. From memory, this was after the great storm that never really was (at least where I went) Juno that delayed my US trip by a week. My recollection of this recipe is not great. The one thing I do recall is that my usual laissez faire approach produced sub optimal results. I think there was some definite over proving during this process and I ended up with a tough little loaf, which was still hanging around the kitchen when I returned the following weekend... never a good sign.
The thing I like about bread is that it is a relatively simple beast - few ingredients. The thing that I dislike about bread is that it is a beast. A bit like an animal, it seems to have a mind of its own and that is where we fall out. I am not a bread whisperer. Well, not yet, though in the coming years, now that I have risen (ahem) to the challenge of baking through Rose's Bread Bible with some other keen whisperers, I may yet tame the beast.
This bread was biga based again. And it felt like it had to go through about five different resting periods, rises and folding and shaping and resting again. Random resting, rising, folding and shaping photos as follows:
This bread called for 40 grams of pumpernickel flour (course rye) which I quickly discovered didn't exist in real life. Well, not in my real life. Chris went off on his white charger to hunt down the nearest thing to it - plain rye flour. He came back with two 500 gram packs of plain rye flour. Another impetus for doing the Bread Bible bake through. Between that and the dry skim milk powder for the Panettone, I have enough Rye flour to see me to the end of my days.
At the end of this very long process I ended up with a disappointingly dense fruit loaf. The flavour was good, but the texture, meh. There was definitely no oven spring on this loaf. I think my loaf did its best springing in the warming cupboard.
I think I will come back to this recipe once I have learned a few bread words to whisper to it sweetly. Or maybe I just need to leave the "she'll be right" attitude at the kitchen door and arm myself with a spreadsheet and a timer... It held such great promise... I don't know if it is a particularly Australian thing, but toasted fruit bread with a cup of tea - bliss. And the UK version is not a patch on the whole fruit wonders of the old country.
Coming soon, Chocolate Pavarotti with Wicked Good Ganache.