food for thought

by michelle

basil walnut and pecorino bread

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This bread makes a perfect centrepiece for a casual lunch. To make it, first mix 2½ teaspoons of dry active yeast and ½ a teaspoon of sugar into 3 tablespoons of warm water (this can be fairly warm to touch but not hot). Leave this to prove for at least 5 minutes. Meanwhile, into a large bowl mix 1 cup of warm water, 2 tablespoons each of olive oil and honey, a teaspoon of salt, ½ a cup of grated pecorino cheese and 1 cup of flour. Stir well then add a second cup of flour and the yeast mixture, stirring again to combine. Now add ¾ of a cup of roughly chopped walnuts and 2 cups of basil leaves, coarsely chopped. Gradually add up to a cup more of flour and knead together until the dough is soft and pliable and not sticking to your hands. Cover the bowl and leave in a warm place, allowing the dough to rise for about an hour. When the dough has more than doubled in size, gently knead it to remove some air and shape into a loaf. If you prefer, you can make it into baguettes or use a loaf pan. Allow the bread to rise again then make some slashes in the top with a sharp knife and brush with olive oil. Bake in a moderate oven for 35-40 minutes.


Written by michelle picker

March 2, 2012 at 10:00 am

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