Thursday, 23 August 2007

Walnut & Raisins Bread

I like my close-up photos when they turn out clear and sharp. However, it is not easy for me to get nice close-up shots as I do not have a tripod. Even if I have one, I would probably be too lazy to use it! I also find it troublesome to rest my camera on tables or what nots just to take a photo. You see, I am the sort who likes to 'Do More with Less' extremely nice phrase to describe a simply lazy person ;) So, I rely a lot on my pair of steady hands plus the luck of having sufficient sunlight at the time when I am taking photos...naturally good close-ups are hard to come by! It was rather gloomy most of the time yesterday...but I had luck when the sun decided to peek out from the clouds while I was taking photos of my morning bake...

...a wholemeal, walnut and raisins boule. This rustic-looking bread was made based on a bread machine recipe. I used the bread machine to do the kneading, but let the dough rise in room temperature and then shaped and proof in a colander before baking it in my oven.

Yes, I used a colander as I do not have a banetton or a bread basket (see, I am trying to Do More with Less again!). I've came across a Chinese cookbook that recommends using a colander to achieve the same effect as a banetton. Too bad, I didn't dust the colander with enough flour (see, Doing More with Less doesn't apply here!) and the imprints were not really visible. This also got to do with the somewhat sticky dough. The top part of the dough got stuck to the colander when I tried to invert it onto the baking tray :'(

Nevertheless, it's a truly wholesome and healthy bread, it has got no eggs or milk...and use oil instead of butter. The bread has got a nice crispy crust, and the crumb is rather soft...not the chewy sort that you would aspect from this rustic-looking loaf. The bread is rather plain on it's tasted much better when paired with some jam or butter. This definitely goes into my kids' "healthy but doesn't taste great" list ;)


300g bread flour
150g wholemeal flour
300ml water
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon instant or fast-acting dry yeast
100g walnut pieces
some raisins, optional


  1. Thoroughly mix together the two flours.
  2. Pour water into the bread machine bucket. Add oil and half the mixed flour.
  3. Sprinkle with salt and sugar. Cover with the remaining flour mix and place the yeast in the centre of the flour mixture.
  4. Fit the bucket into the bread machine and set to Basic function. Add walnuts/raisins when the machine bleeps. When ready, remove the loaf from the bucket and let cool completely before cutting.
  5. Alternatively, you can use the Dough function to knead and rise the dough. When the Dough cycle completes, shape dough into a round ball and let it proof for the second time until double in bulk. Bake in pre-heated oven at 180deg C for 30~35 mins until the surface turns golden brown.

Recipe source: adapted from The Complete Bread Machine Cookbook by Sonia Allison


  1. nice shots! I made some hamburger buns today, but they were all very flat! I just have no luck when it comes to bread making...

  2. hi,

    happened to chance upon yr blog. Nice pics and good write-ups.

    I've just invested in a breadmaker. Making part is rather easy but have diff slicing. May I know how you slice yours? Can we find bread slicer in S'pore?

  3. Hi Mandy, thanks!

    Thanks for dropping by Jazzie. I used a serrated knife to slice the bread. I am not sure whether we can get bread slicer far I have not seen it.

  4. What a beautiful bread... this would be so good for breaky with some butter... or even with some cheese. Well-done!

  5. The bread is pretty! I do not have the machine to make bread, will be to give itself to make in the oven?Until more.

  6. hi! i stumbled upon your blog while searching for recipes that use green tea.. wow its amazing all these things that u've baked! they're really pretty and professional looking! (and very yum too im sure!!) ..your blog is really inspiring me to get into a baking frenzy too! =D

  7. Hi dinha, you can make the bread by hand, I just use the bread machine to knead the dough :)

    Christina, thanks for your compliments, but I am not really good, there's still lots to learn :D

  8. hello HHB! I was really looking forward to your next blog! This walnut bread looks absolutly delicious and nutritious! What a creative idea to use a colander, the imprints left on the bread add a pretty touch to the presentation. I have a question, if I don't have a bread machine, how would I change the recipie so it can be made by hand? How long should I knead it for?
    Thanks and happy baking!

  9. Hi Debbie, I don't think you need to change the recipe. You can place all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl, then add in the oil, and then water to mix into a sticky dough. Don't pour in the water at one go, hold back a little to adjust the consistency. I find the dough a bit too wet. Knead for about 10mins till the dough is smooth and elastic. Add the walnuts/raisins at the end of the kneading. Knead gently for 2 to 4 mins until the nuts are evenly distributed. Hope this helps.
    Happy baking too!

  10. Hi! I chanced upon your blog while surfing for bread making. Your breads and pictures look amazing and great! BTW,Can you advise me where you get the book "Bread Magic"? Many Tks!
    From: MH

  11. Hi MH, I got the book "Bread Magic" from Popular.

  12. Hi HHB, that's a lovely bread and photo!

  13. i found your blog when looking through pictures on flickr. i love all the stuff you've made!!! thank you for posting all the recipes!

  14. Just came across your blog today. You are such a talented baker. All your bake goods look so lovely.

  15. Hi maybe strawberry, thanks for visiting! I see that you've just created a new blog, I am looking forward to your new postings =)

    hi icook4fun, thanks for your compliments!

  16. Love yr 1st shot of the bread! Looks really yummy... guess I've to kick my lazy butt into the kitchen for some bread making.

  17. Lovely bread and beautiful pictures! You inspire me.

  18. Yum, looks like a yummy, hearty vegan bread! :) Great photography, too.

  19. I have just tried your walnut & raisins bread recipe. Very disappointed with the result 'cos I use the bread machine to do all the job. I should have taken out the dough and bake it in the oven . Wonder you have tried it using bread machine? if you have tried it, can you please tell me the result is it the same as baking in the oven. My bread machine is Sanyo brand.

  20. Hi Michelle, I have not tried baking this with the bread machine. However, this is actually a bread machine recipe, as such I would think the result should be all right if you were to use the full cycle. As you didn't mention what is it that you were not happy with, I am not able to comment much. Was the bread too dense?

  21. Hi I attempted this bread, it turned out so yummy! even next day the bread still soft, today I bring for my lunch, is my family healthy recipe. Thank you for sharing...

  22. If I want to have fresh bread in the morning, what must I do? after 2nd proof leave it in fridge? need your advice.
    Thank you very much

  23. Hi soh, I have not tried leaving bread dough in the fridge over nite so I am not able to commend. I think the usual way is, after the 1st proof, shape the dough, and leave it in the fridge. The next day, bring it to room temperature and let it rise to double its size (ie 2nd proofing) before baking.

  24. Hi HHB, I will try and update you soon possible.
    Thank you for all your sharing.