Walnut Bread with Cherries



Sometimes I photograph what I like to cook, but most of the time I cook what I would like to photograph. Still compositions are my passion, I love making them. I know its very old fashioned, from the old world, so probably I am too :) There are days I like to spend in my studio playing with props, or just walk around or listen to the music while sitting in armchair and browsing through artwork of the old masters. This time I was itching to create a grand composition, but later have shifted direction to something more simple but nevertheless outstanding. All elements seemed to be in place, but one of the ingredients was missing. Item from the past which is seen on our tables these days as well. Idea with bread seemed the most suitable - dark texture, good crust, nuts and grains, just like in the old days. Red wine, onions and bread. I rushed to start my dough. I have finished baking at 2 AM in the morning. Next day, after breakfast I have immediately started photographing and I have to tell you - I am very pleased indeed! And, of course, the bread is delicious, sweet and walnut-cherry combination is very unique - it will go great with foie gras pate and French cheeses. I hope you enjoy my art and try to bake the bread as well.

It feels like a good start to the New Year filled with beauty and inspiration.

May this coming year be filled with magic, dreams and inspiration. Read wise books, kiss someone who thinks you are wonderful and don't forget the art - paint, draw, write poetry or music, sing and live the way only you can live. And, I am sure, someday next year you will surprise yourself!

Walnut Bread 2

Adapted from Carina-forum.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (250 ml) unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 cup (250ml) rustic wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder, (preferably Dutch-processed)
  • 1 package (2 1/4 tsp) dry yeast 
  • 2/3 cup (130-160 ml) lukewarm sparkling water, (I use San Pellegrino)
  • 1/3 cup (50-70 ml) molasses or dark honey
  • 2 Tbsp. walnut oil, (or any other vegetable oil)
  • 1/2 tsp salt, (I use pink Himalayan salt
  • 3/4 cup (50 ml) dried cherries
  • 3 Tbsp. rum or brandy
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped

Directions:

In the small bowl combine cherries and rum. Set aside.

In another bowl, combine half of the water and sprinkle with the yeast. Let stand until foamy, 5 to 10 minutes, then stir to combine.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook, mix together the flour and salt. Slowly add the yeast mixture, remaining water and the molasses or honey. Increase the speed to medium-low and knead for 8 to 10 minutes. Add the walnut oil at the end. The dough should be smooth and elastic. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rise at room temperature until doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Take the cherries out of rum and coat them with flour. Add the cherries and walnuts into a risen dough, knead a bit more. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface, lightly pat and form a loaf, dust with flour and leave to rise again for about 20 min.

Place a baking stone on the bottom oven rack and preheat the oven to 450°F.

Using a thin, sharp knife, make 3 gentle slashes across the top of each loaf. Place the baking sheet on the stone and bake for about 7 minutes, then reduce the heat to 400°F and bake until the loaves are golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes more. Let cool completely on wire racks before slicing and serving.


Walnut Bread 3

7 comments:

La Table De Nana said...
December 31, 2012 at 2:13 PM  

I would certainly say you created masterpieces.My mom was an artists and did some still lifes:) My friend Nancy that moved also enjoyed setting up her studio for still life..These are wonderful..the first knocked my socks off.:)
All the best to you and thank you for having added the recipe:)I am baking a bread as we speak..but no studio or photo..
Looks like a painting..Art ..artful..artistic:)

kathyinozarks said...
December 31, 2012 at 3:35 PM  

this recipe looks delicious! May need to make this one for hubby, as I have to go to gluten free-but I may just adapt this one for me too.
beautiful photography as well
Happy New Year Kathy

Spicie Foodie said...
January 1, 2013 at 4:29 PM  

Happy New Year Yelena! I always enjoy both your art and recipes. The bread sounds and looks delicious. Best wishes and continued success in 2013!

Medeja said...
January 1, 2013 at 6:07 PM  

Both your recipes and photos are always so gorgeous :) I have to admit I really envy your talent :) The way you take pictures is exactly how I would like it.. the compositions are full of different details and makes pictures so..alive? :)I love it :)

Happy New Year, Yelena! :)

Marina said...
January 1, 2013 at 11:28 PM  

Happy New Year to you and your family! Have a happy and healthy year! We were thinking of you on the New Year night! :)

Yelena Strokin said...
January 2, 2013 at 5:57 PM  

Marina, thank you for thinking of me -) What did you think exactly, I wonder?-)))

Nami | Just One Cookbook said...
January 5, 2013 at 4:17 AM  

I love to hear story about how you photo shoot. I'm so jealous that you are very passionate about composition. It's my not so favorite topic as I struggle big time! It's very inspiring for me to stare at your pictures and learn something from them. The bread looks so delicious and professionally made!

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