Pear and walnut bread
By Juanita Hennessey, MasterChef finalist 2016
Makes 1 loaf
- 500g spelt flour
- 300ml warm water
- 3 firm pears
- 2 tbsp honeycomb/honey
- 3 tbsp walnuts
- 15g dry yeast
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 tsp caster sugar
- Squeeze of lemon
- The first step is to activate the yeast.
- Dissolve the sugar in 300ml of luke warm water. Sprinkle over the yeast and then leave for 15 mins somewhere warm.
- You will know when it’s activated as the surface will be frothy. Give the mix a gentle whisk with a fork and now it is ready to use.
- While the yeast is activating you can prepare the other ingredients.
- Grate the pears and squeeze over the lemon juice to stop them turning brown.
- Roughly chop the walnuts and should you be using honeycomb instead of runny honey then roughly chop that too.
- You are now ready to start the kneading process.
- If you have a freestanding mixer with a dough hook put the flour, salt and yeast into the bowl and set the speed to medium.
- It should take 6 minutes to get to the consistency you want which is a fairly dry but smooth dough. If you don’t have a mixer you can of course do this by hand but it will just take a bit longer to knead.
- Next add the pears, walnuts and honeycomb and mix with your hands.
- The mix will get quite wet at this point and it will take a bit of effort to incorporate everything, but keep persevering.
- Once mixed cover the bowl loosely with cling film or a damp tea towel and leave somewhere warm to rise for 1.5 hours.
- The dough should double in size after this time – once you are happy with the rise you can transfer into a lightly oiled bread tin which has also been dusted with flour.
- This mix makes a little bit too much for a standard bread tin but you can use the spare to form a couple of small rolls.
- You need to leave the bread to rise again for another 30–45 mins in the tin. In the meantime pre-heat the oven to 190°C (fan).
- When you’re ready to bake, place the bread in the middle of the oven and cook for 45 mins.
- You will know if it’s ready as the base of the loaf will sound hollow when you tap it with your finger – if it still has a dull thud your bread probably needs a bit longer in the oven so pop it in for a further 5–10 mins.
- Turn out and leave to cool on a wire rack.
- Best served warm but will keep well for 2–3 days in an air tight container.