I found a recipe in the book by Yotam Ottolenghi, an Israeli chef working in London who himself had adapted the method from one created by Dan Lepard, the bread guru.  This being Canada, it needed more adaptation as the flours used in the original are not available here … anyway, this recipe works, works well and is wonderful with soft cheeses, especially goats cheese, and salamis and other cured meats.

  • 320ml of warm water
  • Dried yeast (this would also work well as a sourdough recipe)
  • 80 ml of orange or cranberry juice (this is really there for the vitamin C which helps the yeast)
  • 500g wholemeal flour
  • 100g of buckwheat flour (optional – you could substitute more wholemeal or even strong white bread flour for a lighter loaf)
  • 2tsp salt
  • 100g dried cranberries (the original used dried sour cherries)
  • 100g chopped walnuts

Put all ingredients except the fruit, nuts and salt in a mixer and knead for about five minutes until you have a smooth dough

Add the fruit, nuts and salt and mix for another few minutes until the dough “looks right”

Cover and let double in size in a warm place – about 90 minutes

Separate into two portions and make balls – be gentle, you don’t want to knock it back overmuch.  Place them in a floured cloth and put in a bowl or small basket to confine any sideways spread and allow to rise for another 45 minutes or thereabouts.

Gently ease the balls of dough from the cloths onto a baking sheet covered with baking parchment or a silicon baking sheet and bake at 400defF for 25 minutes in an oven with a bowl of hot water to keep the air moist.

Remove – cool – eat.