Servings: for 1 loaf of about 2 kg Preparation: 1 hour + 4-7 days (for the yeast) + 20 hours waiting Year: 1 hour Degree of difficulty: Difficult
Evi Voutsina loved walnut bread very much, not only for its multi-layered taste and its robust yeast, but also for the Christmas symbolism of its ingredients: the protagonists are the nuts, a primordial symbol of fertility and abundance. Another dominant ingredient is spinach, which most of us know as pink pepper. In fact, one of the dozens of species of this aromatic plant gives us pink pepper. Other species give the Sichuan pepper and the sumac (i), while the endemic chios of Chios give the mastic. Evi would be intolerant if we knew and looked for the fruit only as pink pepper, when this spinach was known since antiquity as the aroma of olive oil.
For the yeast
150 gr. flour for all uses + enough extra to "feed" the yeast
1 teaspoon sweet cardamom (the small black seeds from the capsules), well beaten
1 teaspoon sweet poppy seeds
200 gr. walnut kernels, broken
Yeast: In a bowl, mix the flour, water and honey with a fork. Cover with a towel and leave it in a relatively warm place, away from currents, for 24 hours. The next day, add 80 gr. extra flour and 80 gr. lukewarm water and stir. Cover and set aside.
This process, ie the addition of water-flour, is repeated every 24 hours for 1 week or a little less. The main thing is to see that our dough has swelled, has blisters and mainly has a strong, characteristic smell, as if it has become sour. These are signs that the yeast is ready.
Walnut bread: After the last "feeding" we leave the yeast to rise for 12-14 hours and cut from it an amount of 185 gr. Put it in a large bowl (or in the bucket of the counter mixer) and add all the bread ingredients (flour, salt, water, skewer, cardamom, poppy seeds and walnuts).
Knead well, cover the dough and leave it in a warm place for 5-6 hours, until it swells. Take it out of the bowl, shape it into an oval or round loaf, put it in a shallow pan lined with oil paste, cover with a clean towel and leave for 1 hour.
Bake the loaf for 45 minutes in an oven preheated to 140 ° C. Increase to 170 ° C and bake for another 20-25 minutes. Unbake it, leave it for 25-30 minutes and serve.