Thursday, 3 January 2013

Maple syrup and pistachio bread

Happy New Year! One of my foodie related New Years Resolutions is to be more creative with my baking. I think i've mastered the art of baking cakes and quiches, but there is more to baking than cakes and quiches. I often find bread making daunting, all that kneading (which I have not got the hang out of yet), the dough being left to rise, possibly having to be kneaded again - it can be a faff.
But I thought I need to be creative and turned to one of my favourite baking books, Nigella's "How to Be A Domestic Goddess as I wanted to branch out and make some bread over the Christmas holidays. I was drawn to a recipe for maple syrup and pecan loaf, but as I had no pecans, I thought I would replace this with pistachio. I was a little apprehensive as it was a wholemeal loaf, and wholemeal loafs  can be tricky to make. I was right to be apprehensive, as I was unsure whether the loaf was cooked and as a result left it too long in the oven. As a result, the loaf was a bit dry but once I lavished it with butter the flavours of the maple syrup and the pistachios really came through. I think if I was to make this again I would have to use white bread flour, as I think the loaf would taste and look better. Anyway, here is how my maple syrup and pistachio bread turned out:
Maple syrup and pistachio bread
Maple syrup and pistachio bread
The problem that I had was ensuring the underneath was cooked, fortunately it was.
Underneath my maple syrup and pistachio bread
Ingredients for maple syrup and pistachio (or you can use pecans or walnuts) bread.
500g wholemeal bread flour
150g strong white flour
1 tablespoon salt
7g easy blend yeast
300ml- 400ml warm water
4 tablespoons maple syrup
50g pistachio, pecans or walnuts
oil for greasing.

Ingredients for bread 

Combine flours, salt and yeast in a large bowl. Mix water and maple syrup together in a jug and add to the flour mixture and knead until elastic - which takes a bit longer than white bread due to the wholemeal flour. Rest for 20 minutes.
Kneaded dough

Knead the pecans into the dough and form into a ball. Place the dough in an oiled bowl and leave covered lightly in oil. I found this quite difficult to do as the pistachios kept on falling out of the dough, but eventually I managed to get there in the end! Cover the dough with a tea towel and leave in a warm area for 1-2 hours until risen.
Chopped pistachio

Pistachios in bread

Bread risen with pistachios

Punch the dough down and knead for 1 minute. Make it into a rectangular shape. Make three diagonal slashes on the top. Rest in a warm place for 30 minutes to rise.

bread shaped into loaf

Bread shaped into loaf

Preheat the oven to Gas mark 6 and bake the bread for around 15 minutes. After 15 minutes turn down the heat to gas mark 5 and bake for 30-40 minutes until cooked.


I am entering this recipe to Forever Nigella, a monthly blogging challenge organised by Sarah from Maison cupcake and this month hosted by Recipe Junkie. This months theme is Food for Loved ones, and I think this bread would be enjoyed over a long weekend with the family.





  1. mmm it looks great, thanks for entering into Forever Nigella.

  2. Looks great, hope you continute to persevere with the bread making this year. It's definitely worth it. I love getting creative with bread as you can add nearly anything into the dough.

  3. Well this is adventureous! what fabulous ingredients - I can almost smell it cooking - yum!
    Mary x

  4. What a lovely looking bread! I think you did a wonderful job and thanks for always joining us at Manila Spoon. I have been to your blog a few times and this time I thought I'd join your site to see all your yummy goodies. New follower - Abby from Manila Spoon. Have a great weekend!

  5. Well done for being more adventurous...I think I may need to do that too...I never really deviate from a recipe but perhaps I should. This sounds like an interesting idea for a loaf and it looks good too! :-)

  6. Sounds really good! I think I'd like a slice of this in the toaster. Thanks for taking part in Forever Nigella.

  7. This looks like a lovely loaf! I often take a wholemeal loaf and dial back the wholemeal flour, making up the difference with white, since my family prefers a lighter loaf. One caveat though, you won't need as much liquid.

  8. I've recently been trying out breads... This might have to be next!! Looks gorgeous! Yum yum!


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