For the pre-fermented dough
- 200 g (1 & 2⁄3 cups) bread flour
- 200 g (3⁄4 cup) water
- 1 g (about 1/16 of a 0.6-oz cake) fresh brewer’s yeast
For the second dough
- 250 g (1 & 3⁄4 cups) raisins
- 100 g (1⁄2 cup) extra virgin olive oil
- 300 g (10 & 1⁄2 oz) shelled walnuts
- 50 g (1⁄4 cup) sugar
- 50 g (1⁄4 cup) lukewarm water
- 5 g (1⁄3 of a 0.6 oz cake) fresh brewer’s yeast
- 600 g (4 & 3⁄4 cups) all-purpose flour
- 150 ml (2⁄3 cup) red wine
- 1 tsp salt
- 1⁄2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 egg yolk for glazing
- Make the first dough, the pre-fermented one, the day before, preferably in the evening. Dissolve the yeast in the water and mix in the flour. You should have a smooth and fairly liquid mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 10 to 12 hours.
- For the dough, start by soaking the raisins in a bowl of water. Heat the olive oil in a pan. Chop the walnuts and drain and dry the raisins. Add both to the pan with the sugar. Let the oil take on flavour and then remove from the heat and let it cool down completely.
- Dissolve the fresh brewer’s yeast in lukewarm water.
- Add this to the pre-fermented dough along with the flour and the olive oil with nuts and raisins. Knead in a stand mixer bowl on low speed, adding the wine a little at a time, until the dough is well combined. It should be smooth to the touch and come away easily from your hands and from the bowl.
- Lastly, add the salt and pepper and knead for another minute. Turn the dough out onto an oiled pastry board. Form a round ball of dough and let rise for about 2 hours, until doubled in size.
- When the dough has doubled in size, knead it again, then divide and form 2 round breads. Cross the tops of each with a knife and let rise again until doubled in size.
- Next glaze them with the beaten egg yolk and bake at 180°C/355°F for about 40 minutes. Let the bread cool thoroughly. Wait at least one day before consuming.
- Store wrapped in a tea towel or a paper bag.
After you bake it, resist one day before slicing it, to better enjoy its spiced aroma and dense crumb. Traditionally enjoyed as an after meal treat with a tiny glass of vinsanto, it is also delicious toasted and slathered with butter and your favourite jam for breakfast.