Central Park Cafe’s Sophie Downer has the perfect recipe for Walnut honey loaf with pear and stilton salad

Have a go at this simple bread recipe. Fresh bread is really delicious: even when I don’t get it quite right, it’s still better than anything available in the shops because it’s fresh and made from wholesome ingredients, and especially with Stilton, or even shaved Parmesan or crumbled Cheddar if you don’t want to use a blue cheese.

For the bread
250g strong white bread flour
250g strong white bread flour
450g granary flour
425ml warm water
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
2x 7g sachet fast action yeast
175g walnuts (plus a few or the salad)
3 tablespoons of honey

For the salad
4 fairly firm pears
a few salad leaves
200g Stilton
juice of one lemon
four tablespoons of good olive oil
sea salt and pepper

For the bread
Knead all the ingredients together in a bowl till combined, turn out onto a floured work surface and knead for a good five minutes (or if you have a machine with a dough hook, even better) place the dough back in the bowl and cover with a tea towel, leave for about an hour or until double in size. Then knead the dough again, just enough to knock the air out of it, roll into a ball (this will be the shape of the loaf) and place on a baking tray and leave for another 40 minutes to an hour to prove. Just before you bake , use a sharp knife to score a cross in the top of your loaf.

Bake your loaf in an oven preheated to 220°C for 30 mins. To see if your loaf is ready, you can tap the base – if it sounds hollow, your loaf is ready, but leave to cool a little before you cut it.

For the salad
Slice your pears however you like, I don’t peel them but you can if you prefer. Toss in a bowl with the lemon, oil, salt and pepper, then add your walnuts, crumbled blue cheese and leaves.

Serve with your delicious fresh bread and enjoy!

Sophie is a trained chef and runs the Central Park Cafe in East Ham’s Central Park.  Follow her on Instagram@breadclub1 and Facebook@easthambread.

Image: Sophie Downer