Blueberry, Orange and Walnut Bread

As my Cherry, Apricot and Flaked Almond Bread has proven so popular, I thought I’d use it as the basis for this version, which has equally tasty ingredients within the same soft sweet crumb. I’ve made a few nice little “tweeks” too, including an optional glaze to finish it off.

Makes: 2 medium loaves, about 10 slices each

Time: 40 – 45 minutes hands-on. 90 + 45 minutes proofing time. 20 -25 minutes baking. (This may seem a long time, but much of it can be spent doing other things.)

Level: Moderately easy

Need: A stand mixer will be very useful, but not essential

Ingredients

  • 400g/14oz strong white flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 7g/1½ tsp instant yeast
  • 50g/1¾oz caster sugar
  • 50g/1¾oz butter, softened
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 200ml/7fl oz milk or buttermilk
  • 50g/1¾oz walnuts (or pecans), chopped
  • 1 medium orange, all the zest + segments (see below)
  • 4 – 5 orange segments, with pith and seeds removed, cut into small pieces*
  • 75g/2½oz dried blueberries
  • 2 – 3 Tbsp apricot jam or marmalade to glaze (optional, but it looks nice)

* NB I recommend only using this amount of orange, otherwise the mixture could be very wet. The zest from the whole orange should give plenty of orange flavour. I also used dried blueberries as fresh ones not only add a lot of moisture, they also bleed into the dough.

Method

1. Mix together the flour, salt, yeast and sugar. (Keep the salt and yeast apart before mixing in.) Mix in the softened butter and beaten egg.

2. Gradually add the milk or buttermilk and mix to form a dough, which should be soft but not over wet.

3. Knead (8 – 10 minutes in a stand mixer; around 15 minutes by hand) Place in an oiled bowl and turn it over a few times then cover and leave until it has doubled in volume – about 90 minutes in a warm kitchen.

4. Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knock it back. Stretch or roll it out and add in the zest, orange pieces, blueberries and walnuts, ensuring an even distribution. Fold them in and divide the dough into two equal parts. Form into balls, pulling the surface taught with cupped hands.

5. Dust the dough balls lightly with flour and put them on one or two lined baking sheets. Place inside large plastic bags, such as kitchen bin liners. Leave to rise again – about an hour.

6. Put a baking tray or baking stone in the oven on the middle shelf and turn the oven on to 220°C / Fan 200°C / 425°F / Gas 7.

7. Bake at the above temperature for 5 minutes then turn the oven down by 10 degrees and bake for a further 15 – 20 minutes. After about 10 – 12 minutes check and cover with foil if they are becoming too dark. (NB They’re prone to this, probably due to the sugar content.)

8. Check for a hollow sound when tapped then place on a wire rack to cool. If you decide to glaze the loaves, warm the jam or marmalade with a little water and brush it on.

I wish you every success with your bread making. I hope you bake this one and enjoy eating it. For lots more of my bread recipes click here.

Here are some that I hope you try:

Cheese and Onion Soda Bread

Garlic Boxty Bread

Seeded Rye Bread

If you’d like to make a comment or ask a question please do, via the contact page.

Happy Baking & Happy Eating

Ian