Cakes & Bakes: Nettle loaf

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home-made nettle loaf

Foraging season is upon us again. A fortnight ago I made a batch of wild garlic butter.

nettle loaf ingredients

This week, the stinging nettles are just right for picking. We had a patch in a corner of our allotment that was looking lush and healthy. It’s now had a little pruning session – and is the star ingredient in a nettle loaf.

basic bread dough

Don’t forget, if you’re going to try this recipe, take a pair of gloves and only pick the tips and first two leaves – much like tea-picking, I reckon!

nettle leaves lining a banneton

The nettles make for a rustic, flavoursome and attractive loaf.

bread dough proving and nettle leaves lining a banneton

I’ve used a basic white loaf recipe; but a half & half mixture of white and wholemeal will enhance the earthy, nutty flavour of the nettles. And nettles are SO good for you

kneading nettle leaves into dough wearing kitchen gloves

Pin this recipe for later!

Prune and almond tart with Armagnac
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
2 hr
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
2 hr
For the pastry
  1. 225g/8oz plain flour, sifted
  2. ½tsp salt
  3. 130g/4½oz butter, chilled & diced
  4. 1½-2tbs cold water
For the filling
  1. 300g/10½oz mi-cuit (semi-dried) Agen prunes, stoned
  2. 4tbs Armagnac
  3. 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  4. 35g/1¼oz ground almonds
  5. 55g/2oz caster sugar
  6. 200ml/7fl oz crème fraîche
To serve
  1. icing sugar (for dusting)
  2. additional crème fraîche (for serving)Home-made prune and almond tart ingredients
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Instructions
  1. Put the prunes into a bowl with the Armagnac and leave to soak for at least an hour, turning them occasionally to help them absorb the alcohol
  2. Put the flour and salt in a food processor or mixing bowl. Add the butter and work together
  3. to the fine breadcrumb stage
  4. Stir in the water with a round-bladed knife until it comes together into a ball
  5. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and kneed briefly until smooth
  6. Rest the pastry in a fridge for about 30 minutes before using
  7. Roll out the pastry and use it to line a greased, loose-bottomed flan tin (2½ cm deep, 24cm diameter)
  8. Prick the base all over and chill for 20 minutes
  9. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200°C/400ºF/Gas mark 6
  10. Blind bake the pastry case for 15 minutes then remove the blind baking gubbins and bake the case for a further 5 minutes
  11. Set the case aside and reduce the oven temperature to 190°C/ºF/Gas mark 5
  12. Drain the prunes over a bowl to reserve the remaining Armagnac
  13. Add the ground almonds, egg, sugar and crème fraîche to the Armagnac then beat together until smooth
  14. Distribute the prunes over the base of the pastry case and pour over the almond mixture
  15. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown and a skewer comes away clean
  16. Allow the tart to cool before dusting with a little icing sugar
  17. Serve with additional crème fraîche
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Adapted from Rick Stein's French Odyssey
H is for Home Harbinger http://hisforhomeblog.com/