Walnut Bread

I have to add this.  I just have to.  It’s my family’s favourite bread, week in, week out.  I can’t for the life of me remember where I read the recipe, but I’m sure it was either on the Allison website or on the back of a bag of Allinson flour.  Anyway, all tinkering with the recipe has been resisted, because it really does taste at its nuttiest, tastiest best as it is here.  I think the crucial ingredient is the Allison Very Strong Wholemeal Flour?  It’s the only thing I use The Boss’s Kenwood mixer for.

Walnut Bread

So good that the camera lost the ability to focus

  • 400g strong wholemeal flour
  • 250g strong white flour
  • 100g walnut pieces
  • 2 T light muscovado sugar
  • 1.5 t salt

Whang it all in the mixer and mix together.  It’s important that you do, or the salt will kill any yeast touching it.  To this mix, add:

  • 1 sachet of dried active yeast
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 450ml warm water

Mix / knead for 5-10 mins.  Plop it in a greased bread loaf tin, cover with some cling film, leave it till it’s doubled in size (40 mins in a warm kitchen).

Heat the oven to 230degC.  As you put the bread in, turn it down to 200degC.  Bake for 35 mins.  Turn out and cool.

Today’s Bon Mots

Well, before I tell you what gems the minxes have come away with today, I checked the ‘site stats’ and found that someone arrived on here after searching for “fat people stuck indoors”.  That’s not me!  I get out sometimes!  Honest!  I even managed to get the kids to nursery today, despite it being -18degC at 1030hrs this morning.  I kid you not.  -18.  And we live on the coast.  Brrrrrrr.

We’d had a rough morning getting out on time.  Every time I looked round at Maxi Minx she was wearing less and less, despite me yelling at her to get her wellies and coat on.  Mini Minx did her obligatory poo just as we were finally ready to go.  So of course by the time I’d changed her nappy, Maxi Minx was undressed again and Midi Minx was off causing mischief with the cat.  To make up for setting off in a real grouch, I tried being lighthearted.  For a change.  Noticing the beautiful big moon low on the horizon, I wittered on about how much I love to gaze at the Moon (true).  Maxi Minx asserted: “When I grow up I’m going to the Moon – I’m going to be an astronaut”.

Middle Minx's dream come true

I was a little surprised, because she’s always wanted to be a ballerina-pilot.  “That’s nice, dear”, I replied.

“Me too!” piped up Midi.  “I gonna go Moon – I gonna be a Meg”.  I shouldn’t have laughed so loud and long, but it was hard not to.  My second daughter is so mad on the Meg and Mog stories that she even goes to bed wearing black socks, because it makes her look like a witch.

Presently, I remarked on the temperature.  -18degC.  Did I say, already?  Maxi thought for a bit, then declared it as cold as the North Pole.  I think she may be right…

The rest of the morning I spent wandering round trying to get a doctor’s appointment (failed), information about website building courses (failed – shut), drop-in creche facilities for Mini Minx while I see the physio about my wrecked insides (failed – the kids’ nursery does minimum 15 hours a week (too expensive) and the creche will only do a whole morning at a time.  And I have a bad feeling about them*).  Still, both eldest minxes arrived at nursery only 15 mins late, one of them had her wellies on the right feet and the other had her trousers on the right way (don’t ask…)

*The ‘background music’ was too loud, so one member of staff had to yell to the other to be heard.  She yelled over, asking her to get a little boy who’d toppled over.  I wasn’t happy that the first staff member didn’t just get up off the floor and get him, and that the other staff member hadn’t heard either him crying or her colleague.  On the plus side it’s all open plan (one big room) and limited to 8 kids for the 2 ladies.  I’m trying not to be precious about it, and I really, really need to get my back and insides sorted by the physio and some gym work.

Things got brighter when we all got home this afternoon.  I did a ton of cooking, which always makes me feel better (fridge-leftover chutney that smells like Christmas, walnut bread, flaky pastry mince pies and lasagne.  P declared “I love your lasagne even more than sausages!”.  Exceptional praise indeed).  Best of all, though, was the realisation of what makes little daughters so brilliant: they don’t laugh at your air guitar to Queen’s “It’s A Kind Of Magic” on the radio, they join in!

Tonight, Matthew, I'm going to be the Grumpy Old Trout