Cinnamon and Chocolate Nut Bread

Serving size: 8
Preparation time: 2 hours 40 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes

300g strong white bread flour
100g strong wholemeal flour
50g light brown sugar
1 teaspoon fast action dried yeast
300ml milk
50g butter – melted
1 egg – beaten
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons cocoa powder
A tablespoon of runny honey
A handful of chopped nuts
The zest of one orange
A little sunflower oil for kneading

Ingredients for the orange sherbet icing
300g icing sugar
The juice of one orange

Featured in:
June 2013

I’ve been experimenting a lot with different breads recently, as I’m very keen to encourage people to bake their own and with the current trend for make-do-and-mend and home-baking I want to show how easy and satisfying it is. I’m actually going to be demo-cooking at the amazing Lincolnshire Show this year on 19th and 20th June and I’ve taken it upon myself to do some live breadmaking during my demo, as well as baking a delicious foragers quiche! I realise that I’m my own worst enemy but I figure that if I can do it live, in front of a crowd, then anyone can do it in the safety of their own home.

Bread, of course, comes in many varieties and styles; different flours, liquids and fats can be used let alone the different types of yeast. You can incorporate all kinds of ingredients and create both savoury and sweet breads too, but it’s perfecting that initial basic loaf that will give you the confidence to be experimental.

This semi-sweet loaf, made using the ‘low-knead’ method and baked in a cake tin, was simply inspired by what I had a lot of in my larder and the fact that I had friends coming round for tea and needed something relatively fast but impressive to serve.

Remember that, like cakes, with bread you must follow the initial recipe and method to the letter; it’s only with the added ingredients that you can get creative.

You will need a deep, loose-bottomed 12-inch cake tin – lightly oiled

Place the flours, yeast, salt, sugar, cinnamon and cocoa powder in a large bowl and mix together; then pour over the milk, melted butter and beaten egg and bring together with a spatula until you have a shaggy mess. Cover with cling film and set aside for 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes lightly oil your work surface and pour the dough onto it. Wipe out the inside of your bowl and pour in a little oil and wipe around with your hand. Using your oiled hand, knead the dough for 10 seconds, then place it back into the bowl and cover for another 10 minutes.

Repeat this, low-knead a total of 3 times then cover with cling film and leave for at least an hour to prove or until doubled in size.

After the bread has proved, tip it out onto a lightly oiled surface and pat it out with your fist into an oblong shape, then sprinkle on the nuts and orange zest and pour over the honey. Next roll up the dough into a sausage shape.

Cut the sausage into 7 equal pieces and place them into the cake tin with one in the centre and the other pieces around it like a flower, cover with cling film and let this prove again for at least 30 minutes whilst you pre-heat the oven to 190C.

Once the bread has risen again, bake it in the oven for at least 30 minutes or until it is a dark golden brown.

To make the sherbet icing, simply squeeze the orange juice into a bowl with the icing sugar and stir. This can then be drizzled onto the bread once it’s cooled.

Eat and of course, enjoy and don’t forget to come and visit me at the Lincolnshire Show on 19th and 20th June in the Food Court.

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