Brandy soaked blueberry toasted walnut spelt sourdough
I’ve been meaning to bake this combination for some time now and glad I finally did. Toasting the walnuts is always a great way to enhance the walnut flavour but in this loaf I also added toasted walnut oil.
For one 900 g loaf 78% hydration
311 g white bread flour.
67 g whole spelt
266 g warm water
7.5 g salt
77 g levain
21 g water for mixing later
12.5 g toasted walnut oil 3% to be added after gluten moderately-fully developed.
total flour 417 g
62 g dried blueberries 15% pre-soaked in brandy overnight.
51 g Lightly toasted Walnuts 12%
A refrigerated saltolyse was used given the higher summer temperatures. The levain was built overnight and kept in the coolest room in the house on the floor.
Bulk lasted about 5 hours. Shaping was done around 35–40% rise at a pH of 4.16. Further bench rest was allowed until the pH reached 4.0 and the dough then had a final cold proof at 3ºC overnight and then baked as usual in a dutch oven overnight.
The crumb is a bit tight I’m sure partially because of the weight of the inclusions and perhaps also because of the microbe inhibiting effects of the brandy? I’ve never been able to get anything like a relatively open crumb with fruit and nut breads, I think I’d have to reduce the amount of fruit and nut that I add to the bread. However, I love the density of inclusions in these types of bread and this was a lovely eating bread. The blueberries are delicious and still have some tenderness to them, while the toasted walnut flavour is definitely enhanced by the addition of the oil. I think that the crust is a bit thinner and crispier which I believe is because of the walnut oil. I’ll need to compare to future bakes to know for sure.