It was taking forever for my note on FB to load, etc…so I thought I would blog some recipes. It’ll make me feel more like Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman…have you read her blog? Seen her website? If not, go here. It is just the coolest site.
Anyway, last week there was lots of clamoring for my walnut bread recipe. I’m going to, once again, disclaim: This is not MY recipe, although I will tell you the changes I made to it. It came from The Great American Baking Book by Patricia Lousada. Great book. One of my baking bibles. Get it, if you can.
Walnut Bread (p. 132)
2 1/2 c whole wheat flour
1 cup white flour
2 1/2 tsp salt
2 1/4 cups lukewarm water (I try to make this around 105 degrees)
1 tbsp honey
1 package active dry yeast (or 2 1/4 tsp)
1 1/4 c walnut pieces, plus more for decorating.
1 beaten egg, for glazing.
1. Combine the flours and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and add 1 cup of the water, the honey and the yeast.
2. Set aside until the yeast dissolves and the mixture is frothy.
3. Add the remaining water. With a wooden spoon, stir from the center, incorporating flour with each turn, to obtain a smooth dough. Add more flour if the dough is too sticky and use your hands if the dough becomes too stiff to stir. (I had to add approx. 1 1/2 cups EXTRA of flour…so, if you’re in a humid environment, be warned!)
4. Transfer to a floured board and knead, adding flour if necessary until the dough is smooth and elastic. Place in a greased bowl and roll the dough around to completely coat on all sides.
5. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 1/2 hours.
6. Punch down the dough and knead in the walnuts evenly.
7. Grease a baking sheet. Shape into a round loaf and place on the baking sheet. Press in walnut pieces to decorate the top. Cover loosely with a damp cloth and leave to rise in a warm place until doubles, 25-30 minutes.
8. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees (F).
9. With a sharp knife, score the top. Brush with the glaze. Bake for 15 minutes. Lower the heat to 375 degrees (F) and bake until the bottom sounds hollow when tapped, about 40 minutes. Cool on a rack.
Okay, here’s how I changed this:
First off, I used my Kitchen Aid, so the whole mixing, kneading thing was a moot point. I did have to incorporate about 1 1/2 cups EXTRA of flour. It worked out to be around 1 cup of white flour, and 1/2 cup of whole wheat. I then used around 1/2 cup to manually knead the walnuts in. It was a fairly sticky dough to the end.
I skipped the “decorating walnuts” because I didn’t have any pretty pieces…just chopped ones. I also skipped the glaze because I’m not into glazing my bread. The picture in the book makes it look a little more golden brown. Mine looked more rustic. (I used that before I heard Ree Drummond use it.).
Lesson learned: Use a round baking dish – some sort of casserole to bake this bread in. I may be wrong, but mine spread out all over the place…the loaf is huge but I don’t think it needed to be.
Even though I added as much flour as I did – this is a light, moist bread. Quite tasty and very hearty (it sticks with you!).
Hope you enjoy it as much as we have been!