Monday, October 25, 2010

Walnut Bread

My baking kick continues and now that the weather has definitively cooled, I have more to bake. Plus with a hungry brood of appreciative soles to feed, I feel nothing but desire to please those that eat my fare day in and day out without complaint.

After trying out a few no knead breads and not being as satisfied as I would like, I decided to go back to kneaded breads. I'm REALLY glad I did. I made this very easy walnut bread from Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. It's dense, hearty, nutritious and scrumptious!. It also has the added bonus of making two loaves for all your efforts. A very deal for the work put in. Freeze one for later!

I love this bread untoasted with butter and cheese. I loved it toasted, with butter again, and sardines and avocado. I've been eating a slice or two a day of the high fiber content. No guilt here.

Try it out and tell me what you think.

Ingredients
- 2 1/2 c warm water
- 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast (1 envelope)
- 1/4 cup roasted walnut oil (I used regular walnut oil)
- 1 T honey or malt syrup
- 1/ 2 c nonfat dry milk
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 cup wheat bran if whole-wheat flour is smooth
- 3 to 4 c whole-wheat flour (I used white whole wheat)
- About 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts, preferably blanched and roasted
- Melter butter for top

Preparation
1. Stir yeast into 1/4 cup warm water in a small bowl and set it aside while you gather your ingredients

2. Put 2 1/4 c warm water in a mixing bowl and stir in the oil, honey, dry milk, and salt. Add bran and whole wheat flour (If you add 1 cup bran, then reduce wheat flour to 2 to 3 cups). Beat well until batter is smooth. Add enough all-purpose flour to make a heavy dough that pulls away from the sides of the bowl, then add walnuts. Turn the dough out onto a counter and knead until smooth (won't be perfectly smooth with the use of wheat flour), adding more white flour as needed to keep it from sticking. Put the dough in an oiled bowl, turn it once, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside to rise until doubled, about 1.5 hours.

3. Turn the dough out and cut it into two or three pieces (I did two). Shape each piece into a tight ball, cupping around the dough to give it a plump, round shape. Place each ball on an oiled baking sheet, cover, and set aside until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes. During the last 15 minutes, preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

4. Slash breads, making three or four parallel cuts across the loaves, then brush with melted butter. Bake until a rich brown crust is formed and the bread is done, about 40 minutes.

Blanched and Roasted Walnuts
This simple process really improves the flavor of shelled walnuts that aren't freshly cracked. Bring a pan of water to a boil, add walnuts, and let them stand for a 1 minute. Drain and wick up the excess moisture with at towel. Spread them out on a sheet pan, then roast in a 300 degree F oven until they've dried out, about 20 minutes. Remove them as soon as they are dry.

22 comments:

Katerina said...

It looks terrific. I like breads with crunchy crust. This one seems like perfect for me. It's worth your kneading effort.

Dishesdone said...

The flavors in your bread sound so good! It looks amazing, I can just imagine the crunch of the crust when you sliced it. I bet your kitchen smelled fantastic!

A SPICY PERSPECTIVE said...

Ah, walnut bread. It sounds truly divine--and just look at that crust!

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

This sounds like a wonderful recipe, Nirmala! I haven't gotten back into bread baking yet this fall. This might be first first one I try.

Thank you for the tip on refreshing walnuts. I always keep a big bag of walnuts from Sam's Club in my refrigerator but sometimes it takes a long time to use them all.

Rita said...

WOW!
I am fascinated with bread and yours really looks fabulous; I can jsut imagine how good it it with roasted walnuts. My problem is I have to use my bread machine to do the work; I will have to study this one; great post.

Valerie said...

What a beautifully, fat loaf of bread! I can almost taste how delicious this would be with cheese. :-)

Julie M. said...

This bread looks delicious as do all your loaves! You are on your way to becoming a professional baker with all these beautiful breads. Yummy!

Pam said...

I need to face my fear of baking bread. Your walnut bread looks great!

Pushpa said...

Walnut bread looks superb,would love to dip in soups,thanks for stopping by,you can find the comments when you click on the posts...

nancy at good food matters said...

I have that book by Madison--it's a treasure. Your bread looks beautiful. Thanks especially for the tip on improving the walnuts flavor.

Chow and Chatter said...

wow look at you a star baker looks divine

redmenace said...

I'm glad you're eating so much lovely homemade bread. Have some for me. I'm off the good stuff until baby. Thanks for the recipe though!

♥peachkins♥ said...

that bread would pair up nicely with soup...

Ameena said...

Yum Nirmala! This would be amazing with some gorgonzola cheese and a bit of honey. Please try the combination and let me know how it is - I will live vicariously through you!

Tasha said...

Your delicious-looking breads really make me want to be more of a bread baker. How I could happily make a meal out of just this and cheese and be a happy, happy girl!

Joanne said...

I was looking for a good walnut bread recipe just a few weeks ago but couldn't find one ANYWHERE. This is the recipe I was thinking of without even knowing it! Sounds delicious.

Foodessa said...

With all the wonderful breads I've been seeing lately...I get the feeling my oven will get a real workout this winter...especially when the bread has great ingredients and of course the nuts which is my favourite part ;o)

Flavourful wishes,.
Claudia

Stella said...

Hey Nirmala! Ugh, sorry for being absent lately. I'm overwhelmed with my life right now (smile but seriously).
Hey, this bread looks awesome. Oh, and I did make bread the other day-it was good but not pretty like yours. Speaking of that, do you think I could make this without the powdered milk? I don't have any. Or do you suggest an easy bread for someone starting like me? I want prettiness;)

Beth said...

This bread looks fantastic!

Dimah said...

What a beautiful loaf of bread! It looks delicious!

veena krishnakumar said...

Looks amazing!!!i am going to bake this........

Sophie said...

hey Nirmala!

Your walnut bread looks amazing & mighty pretty too!

MMMMMM,...!!!