Chestnut flour bread

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Remember my chestnut flour?

At the time, I made some bread but the resultant loaves were a bit dense so I refrained from writing a post.  I did promise, though, when I made another batch, if it was better, I would write a post.  Well, I made another batch and it was equally dense but I have decided to write a post anyway.

I have only made chestnut flour bread on these two occasions so I am not sure whether it will be anything but dense.  There is no gluten in chestnut flour, therefore, maybe dense it will always be. Out of curiosity, I did a search for chestnut flour bread on the web and my loaves look as good as the images I found.  In any case, the bread tastes very nice.  It is not at all heavy. The chestnut flour gives it a nice, sweet, nutty flavour.  I will made it again, next year.

I adapted a recipe from Crust by Richard Bertinet.  The original recipe does not use sourdough but utilises a starter made from commercial yeast.

These quantities make four small loaves.

Ingredients:

  • 790g strong white (bread) flour
  • 400g chestnut flour
  • Approximately 900g water
  • 450g 100% hydration sour dough starter
  • 6g instant yeast
  • 25g salt

Method:

  1. Combine the flours in your mixer bowl (or, if kneading by hand, a large bowl) add about 650g of the water and mix until well combined.
  2. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.
  3. Add the sour dough starter and instant yeast.
  4. Mix on medium for 5 minutes.  During this time, add as much of the reserved water as you need to get a nice flexible dough.  I used 900g in total but it is very hard to estimate how much you will need.  It will depend on the flours you use and how much water they absorb.
    Remember, chestnut flour has no gluten so it won’t be as elastic as 100% wheat flour bread.
  5. After 5 minutes of mixing, add the salt and mix for a further 4 – 5 minutes.
  6. Form the dough into a ball.  Oil a bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 40 minutes.
  7. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and do a stretch and fold.  Return the dough to the oiled bowl. Cover and leave for 20 minutes.
  8. Turn out the dough onto your surface and divide into four pieces.
  9. Shape as desired.  I cooked my loaves in bread tins, so I made four batards.  Place the batards, right side up, in your bread tins. If you are making free-form loaves, follow the shaping and baking instructions in my Pain au Levain with Mixed Sourdough Starters post.  Here is the link.
  10. Leave to prove, covered in plastic wrap, until doubled in bulk.
  11. An hour before you are ready to bake, preheat your oven.  Place a ceramic tile(s) on a shelf in the bottom third of your oven and preheat your oven to its hottest temperature.
  12. When ready to bake, place the tins in the oven on the ceramic tile(s).
  13. Using a  water spray bottle, quickly open the door and spray your bread and around the oven with water.  Close the door.   About 2 minutes later, do it again.
  14. Bake for 5 minutes then turn down the temperature to 220°C and bake for a further 20 minutes or until the loaves are a deep, brown leather colour and the base of each loaf sounds hollow when tapped underneath.
  15. Cool on wire racks.

13 thoughts on “Chestnut flour bread

  1. Glenda the chestnut flour bread look scrumptious. Love breads with a nutty flavor and looks like it slices nicely too 🙂

  2. Well done perservering. How does chestnut flour work in pastry? I have been trying my hand at spelt and find it is very different to use. I suppose chestnut also has different qualities.

    • Hi Fiona, My two experiments with bread are the only times I have ever used chestnut flour, so I am no expert. I am surprised you are having trouble with spelt flour as it is just a different variety of wheat. Chestnut flour would be totally different.

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