About this recipe:This healthy bread has it all: just the right amount of sweetness, a delicious moist crumb, and the toothsome crunch of nuts throughout. The only thing it doesn't have is lots of fat and cholesterol.
285g (10oz) self-raising flour
85g (3oz) butter, softened
250g (9oz) maple syrup
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 can (about 170g) evaporated skimmed milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
55g (2oz) walnuts, toasted and chopped
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Method Prep:15min › Cook:50min › Ready in:1hr5min
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F, gas mark 4). Lightly coat a 23 × 13cm (9 × 5in) loaf tin with cooking spray or a little olive oil. Put the flour into a large bowl and make a well in the centre.
Beat the butter in a medium bowl with a wooden spoon until creamy; blend in the syrup. Beat in the egg, and then the milk and vanilla extract. Pour the mixture into the well in the flour and stir just until the flour disappears. (Do not overbeat; a few lumps are fine.) Stir in the walnuts.
Scrape the mixture into the loaf tin. Bake for about 50 minutes or until golden brown and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. If the bread browns too fast, loosely cover it with foil (shiny-side up) during the last 15 minutes of baking.
Cool in the tin, on a wire rack, for 10 minutes. Turn the bread on to the rack to cool completely.
Some more ideas
*For a different nutty flavour, use toasted pecan nuts or toasted slivered almonds in place of the walnuts. *This bread is also delicious flavoured with almond essence instead of vanilla extract.
There is some evidence to suggest that eating unsalted nuts may help to relieve high blood pressure. Nuts provide healthy monounsaturated fat and are high in fibre. Walnuts are particularly heart-healthy: they contain alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fat that may lower risk for heart attack, and ellagic acid, an antioxidant compound. Store nuts in a cool, dry place, or keep them in the refrigerator for longer-lasting freshness.