Savoury Pecan & Stilton Loaf

IMG_0954I really love these savoury bread recipes.  They’re just so versatile.  It’s not often I have the urge to sit down and just eat a slice of bread, but with recipes like this I do!

This makes the most of my wonderful wholemeal flour from Holgate Windmill, some top quality creamy stilton and that sweet entensity of my favourite nuts.  What a combination – eat it by itself, as an accompaniment or as an interesting sandwich bread

Makes 1 loaf


  • 250g Strong White Bread Flour
  • 250g Strong Wholemeal Bread Flour
  • 10g Fast Action Yeast
  • 8g Salt
  • 30g Salted butter
  • 330ml tepid Water
  • A little Olive Oil
  • 150g Pecan Nuts
  • 180g best quality Stilton Cheese


  • Dice the butter and add to the tepid water to allow to soften a little
  • In a bowl make up the dough by mixing in the flours, yeast and salt before adding the water and butter
  • Work into a rough, soft dough, adding a little more water if necessary.  LEave to stand, covered for 5-10 minutes to allow the flour to absorb the water
  • Turn out onto a lightly oiled surface and knead well for 5-10 minutes until the gluten develops and the dough turns smooth and evenly developed
  • Lightly oil a bowl and put in the kneaded dough.  Cover with cling film and leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about an hour
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roughly stretch out into a flat rectangle
  • Crumble over the cheese and pecan halves, press into the dough and then fold and roll up to incorporate throughout the loaf
  • Shape the loaf and set aside to prove for about an hour until doubled in size, covered with cling film
  • Reshape the dough if needed and slash with a sharp knife
  • Bake in a pre-heated oven, 200oC Fan, for about 40 minutes.  Place a tray of water int eh bottom of the oven to create some seam to give a great crunchy crust
  • Remove to a wire rack to cool – but best whilst still a little warm!



4 Comments Add yours

  1. Helen Hoult says:

    Hi James. I’m from Holgate Windmill and we were thrilled to see that you are using our flour in your recipes (which sound amazing!). Seeing your recipes in print made me think we could produce a very lively looseleaf binder in our windmill with printed copies of recipes which people had found successful. We could have this in the mill and people could buy their flour and copies of individual recipes for a nominal amount. This would raise a little bit of money for us, inspire hesitant wholemeal bakers and be good for other cooks to give their contribution to the mill. Does this sound interesting to you and would you like to be the first of hopefully many contributors to our “cook book”? Happy to discuss by email if it’s easier.
    Thanks very much. Helen Hoult

    1. Hi Helen, What a great idea! You’ve got a terrific product & I’m more than happy to help out – I’ll drop you an email 🙂

  2. Jo Frith says:

    Hi I’ve just made this recipe. It looks good, but I have a few comments.
    1. There is far, far too much salt for my taste. We cook mostly without salt in our meals these days and get what we need from any cheese. The exceptions are bread and pastry, which do need a little to bring out the flavour. So in this recipe, I would omit the salt COMPLETELY – there’s plenty in the cheese. Also, personally, I think there is too much cheese. Next time (and there most certainly will be a next time) I will only use about 100gm cheese. I only had 100gm pecans and this was plenty.
    2. I used exceptionally strong Canadian flour (I know! – I don’t like the thought of all their GM, but they do grow really strong flour there!). The dough was only just elastic enough to support all the nuts. I perhaps would reduce the liquid a little next time to make a stronger dough.
    3. With steam in the oven you do get a very lovely crust – it is almost crisp-like because of the high fat content of the cheese.
    4. In my Gaggenau fan oven the two round loaves that I made from the above quantities took about 30 mins at 200 degrees.
    5. The above quantities make two loaves which each will serve as a main meal accompaniment for 6 hungry people or 8 normal people. They would be a good main item for veggies with a green salad and a tomato salad.
    6. They are BIG loaves because of the extra yeast – for this amount of flour I would normally use about 3gm. But these came out a little flat in my case because of slightly too much liquid I think.
    Many thanks for a lovely recipe though – very tasty and will certainly be made again.

    1. Hi Jo, thanks for the feedback!
      I totally agree that there’s generally too much salt in recipes these days, and I personally try and cut these back to a more healthly level, but it’s a very personal thing and a matter of individual taste. There’s an interesting article here on the use of salt in bread, which would indicate that up to 10g salt per 500g flour is ‘acceptable’. I’ve seen recipes with much more than this!
      Of course, you then need to deal with the variability of cheese. I’ve got a really good supply of top quality Stilton from my local farm shop. It’s actually quite mild and creamy with a distinct blue flavour, but not strong or salty. I can imagine that if I tried this with something like a mature cheddar, it would be just too much. As ever, tailor to your personal tastes!

      If you’re using really strong flour, this should support the nuts really well – it may just need a little more kneading to fully develop the gluten. It’s easy to feel like you’ve done enough, but it’s worth persisting. If you’re just using white flour, the window pane test is a great indication of whether you’ve gone far enough with the kneading. I’d be very reluctant to reduce the amount of liquid – this is only a 66% hydration, so should actually be quite stiff. Although it’s quite difficult to knead if it’s wetter, it’s worth the effort, you get a really good rise with a wetter dough.

      3g of flour is about half a sachet – I’d never use less than 7g for a ‘normal’ loaf, but you can probably get away with this if you give the yeast much longer to act, both in the initial rise and the final prove, or maybe prove in a warm place. Personally I’d go with the extended timelines, a dough which has been retarded/proved over a long period has much better flavours! If the loaf was a bit flat, it could be due to a lack of structure (it just spread out as it cooked & didn’t hold it’s shape) – that’s a result of a lack of kneading, but when you cut it, it should still have a light texture. Alternatively it may be a result of too little liquid or yeast which hasn’t activated properly (e.g., may have been killed off by the salt), in which case it would have a tight/dense structure.

      Glad you enjoyed the recipe!

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