I baked this bread one afternoon when I was feeling a little restless after discovering that my freezer contained two large packets of shelled pistachios from USA, which have been sitting in the freezer for some time. So to use up some of the pistachios, I decided to bake a pistachio bread. In the process, I added some potato flakes to soften the crumb and for added flavour and health benifits, threw in some organic pressed oats. It took about 3 hours from start to finish, but I was so pleased at the results! A beautifully browned crust that was slightly aromatic and so crispy, with a soft, buttery and chewy crumb containing crunchy bits of pistachios! The recipe was improvised as I went along.
- 600 g Bread flour
- 3 tsp dried yeast
- 1 tbs potato flakes
- 30g unsalted butter
- 2 tbs honey
- 1 cup of shelled pistachios, chopped roughly.
- 2 Cups milk, plus a little more if needed.
- 2 tsp sea salt.
Weigh out 600g of bread flour into a Kitchen Aid bowl.
Add in 3 tsp dried yeast, the potato flakes, unsalted butter, and the pressed oats. Then add in the honey.
Mix by hand or a wooden spoon the flour and ingredients into a doughy consistency. Using the Kitchen Aid, knead the dough with a dough hook for about 15 to 17 mins. You may have to add a little more milk to obtain the right silky smooth consistency of the dough, and it’s advisable to do this a table spoon at a time. Towards the end of the kneading time, add in the salt and finally the roughly chopped pistachios.
When the pistachios have been thoroughly incorporated into the dough, transfer the dough onto a silicone mat and stretch and fold the dough for 2 to 3 mins. before shaping it into a large boule. Leave this covered with a damp tea cloth for 40 mins. to proof the first rise.
At the end of 40 mins, divide the dough which is quite large now, into 2 equal halves. Gently press the dough down and fold the edges of the dough towards the center and form into a small boule. Let this proof for another 60 mins on baking paper. Heat up the Dutch ovens to 240˚C. 30 mins. before the proofing ends. At the end of the second proofing, lightly spray the boules of dough with water, and score their surfaces with a sharp knife before dropping each of them into the hot Dutch Oven. Bake at 240˚C for 25 mins, then lift off the covers of the DO and bake further at 200˚C for 10 mins or so, to obtain a crust that is dark golden brown. Remove the loaves and cool them on a metal rack before slicing.
This is one of the two shaped boules at the end of the second proofing. After spraying some water, score the surface of the dough.
The cover of the Dutch Oven removed after baking 25 mins. to show the loaf and to bake 10 mins more or so, to brown the crust.
The cooled loaf sliced into half to show the thickness of the crust and the texture of the crumb.
A close-up of the sliced loaf, showing the crumb details.
Nothing beats consuming freshly baked bread that is a few hours old. It’s probably the time when the bread is at it’s best, and your enjoyment at it’s greatest!
“I would say to housewives, be not daunted by one failure, nor by twenty. Resolve that you will have good bread, and never cease striving after this result till you have effected it. If persons without brains can accomplish this, why cannot you?”
’Housekeeping In Old Virginia’ Marion Cabell Tyree ed. (1878)