It's getting festive, isn't it? Lots of our favourite flavour combinations are popping out of the woodwork, ready for the mince pie and mulled wine quaff fest that is the run up to Christmas. One of these has to be chestnuts. They are absolutely impossible to resist, eaten hot on a frosty day. Of course, that leads on to stuffing, with sage and apple... If we could, we'd eat stuffing for every meal.
What's this? We CAN eat it for every meal, with a stuffing flavoured loaf? Move over, stollen, here's some proper seasonal sustenance for long weekends tramping through the woods or wrapping presents.
This recipe is naturally sugar free, and the only dairy (or lactose) comes from the optional elements. You could add in some cubed ham or a sprinkling of sausage meat for a carnivore version, but this could also easily be made vegan, and indeed, gluten free by using one of our fabulous gluten-free flour mixes.
Dairy and Sugar Free Apple & Chestnut 'Stuffing' Loaf
You will need:
- 1 sachet active yeast
- 320ml warm water
- 350g strong bread flour
- 100g chestnut (or another nut) flour
- 2 tsp dried sage
- A good pinch salt
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 tbsp chestnut puree
- 1 large cooking apple, peeled and roughly chopped
- Large handful of walnuts, chopped
- A few fresh sage leaves, chopped
- Sprinkling of sea salt
- 50g parmesan (optional - often much lower in lactose than other cheeses)
- 2 tbsp milk (or egg, or olive oil if you're going dairy free)
- Combine the yeast and 2 tbsp water in a bowl. Set aside for 10 minutes or so.
- Add both flours, dried sage and salt together in a bowl and make a well in the centre. Add in the yeast mixture, remaining water and olive oil. Stir together and bring into a dough using your hands.
- Turn onto a floured surface and knead for 5-10 minutes. Grease a pyrex bowl (or similar) and cover, leaving somewhere warm for 1 1/2 hours, until the dough has doubled in size.
- Grease and line a 2lb loaf tin. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and give it a quick knead.
- Roll out into a rectangle, about 40cm by 20cm.
- Spread the chestnut puree over the surface, followed by the apples, walnuts, fresh sage, sea salt and parmesan, if using.
- Roll the dough lengthways, until you have a swiss-roll type construction, tucking the ends under, so that you can fit them in the tin.
- Place in the tin, cover and leave to prove and rise for 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 220C / 450F / Gas mark 8.
- Brush the top of the loaf with a little milk, egg or olive oil, and slash the surface with a sharp knife, if you prefer.
- Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 180 C / 350 F / Gas mark 4. Bake for another 20 minutes. The bread should sound hollow when tapped on the base.
- Cool in the tin for 10 minutes, before turning onto a wire rack.