Almond & Stilton Whole Wheat Braid.

 

This recipe is quite old, I’ve had it myself for about 20 years (unsure of it’s original origin).  I’ve varied the cheeses I’ve used, along with the nuts, and I have to say, this is still one of my favorite combinations.  I used a wonderful new product thanks to King Arthur’s  – white whole wheat and it was perfect!  The texture of the dough was so soft and silky.  There is nothing quite like the smell of freshly baking bread in the kitchen.  I’m in paradise!

Ingredients:

2/3 cup of King Arthur’s Bread flour
2 1/2 cups of King Arthur’s white whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons of salt
1 1/2 teaspoons of yeast
1/2 stick of butter, softened
1 teaspoon of honey
1 1/4 cup of water (room temperature)
5 ounces of Stilton, crumbled (I used mango ginger)
1/2 cup of slivered almonds, walnuts or whatever nut you have on hand

Directions:

In your stand mixer, dough hook attachment, add the flours, salt, yeast, butter and honey.  Blend.  Then slowly add the water (I add it by 1/4 cups).  Blend after each addition of water.  Repeat until all of the water has been used.  Knead the dough for 7 minutes.  If you notice the dough is too sticky, add a tiny bit more of the flour or if it’s too dry, add a tiny bit of water.  The dough recipe is flexible.  Adjust as you need to.  Then form the dough into a nice smooth ball.  Place in an oiled bowl, cover with a towel and set somewhere warm free of drafts allowing it to rise for 1 hour.  I use my microwave for this part.

Remove the dough and add the Stilton and nuts.  Knead the dough with the base of your hand flipping the dough over and kneading.  Repeat until all of the cheese and nuts have been incorporated into the dough.  Then divide the dough into three pieces.  Roll each into a tube shape.  Repeat.  Then attach all of the pieces at the top together and fold under.  Then braid the dough.   Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet and let it rise for another hour.  Cover with the towel.

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.  Bake for 35-45 minutes or until golden brown.  Let cool completely and then slice and serve.

— Knead to Cook

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