It's been awhile since I posted any recipes. When I lived in Gig Harbor, Washington, my husband and I used to love to cross over the Narrows Bridge and go to lunch at Metropolitan Market. It is such a unique grocery store with a wonderful deli, wine shop, fresh meats and a very unique bakery. Every Wednesday they used to get in a fresh supply of Poilane bread flown in from Paris. And, they also sold such a wonderful walnut bread. This week I thought about that walnut bread and decided to try and make some myself. Here's what I came up with...
Pat's Walnut Bread
1 package dry yeast (2 teaspoons)
2 cups lukewarm water
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup honey
2 1/2 teaspoons natural sea salt
1 cup walnuts (small pieces and roasted in oven for a few minutes)
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 1/2 + cups all purpose flour
(cornmeal for baking sheet)
In a large bowl (or mixer bowl) add water and sprinkle yeast on top. Add the sugar and let sit a couple of minutes for the yeast to dissolve. Add in oil, honey, salt and whole wheat flour. Mix together with a spoon. If you are using your mixer, use the kneading hook and start mixing. Add in walnuts and gradually start adding the all purpose flour. Knead (either by hand or with mixer) until mixture starts to hold together and the flour is incorporated. I used about 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour; you may need to add a little more. But, don't add too much as you want the dough to be soft.
Shape dough into a ball and put in large bowl, cover with plastic wrap and a towel and let sit in a warm are for about 1 1/2 hours until doubled in size.
Punch down dough and shape into one large loaf or two small loaves. Place on a parchment covered baking sheet. Sprinkler some cornmeal on the parchment paper before placing dough on tray. Cover lightly with a tea towel or plastic wrap and let rise about 1 hour.
Just before the hour is up, preheat oven to 450 degrees and put a small loaf pan on the bottom shelf of the oven. Slash the loaf with a sharp knife across the top a few times. Drop ice cubes in the loaf pan to make steam in the oven. Place bread on oven rack and bake in a 450 degree oven for about 20 minutes and then reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake an additional 25 minutes or until loaf (loaves) sound hollow when tapped. Watch the bread during the baking process and if it becomes too brown, place a piece of foil paper over the loaf.
Here's my bread just after it has risen and the top has been slashed...
And, here it is hot out of the oven...
I let it cool a little while before slicing into it as I was excited to see how the texture turned out ...
I was really quite pleased with the texture of this bread. I didn't add a whole cup of walnuts and next time I will be sure to do so (hence, you don't see that many walnuts). It's great toasted the next day, too. I served it with with some Ukranian butter that was a gift from my son. Delicious!
I'll sign off with this photo of Lilly. She was so cute last night - I think she was dreaming and was sleeping with her tongue sticking out. Too bad I wasn't fast enough to take a picture of her.
There are so many things I want to share with you but I'm totally occupied with my "paperwork for my dreaded tax return"...it's that time of year again. Soon, I will be freed of this burden. Wishing you all a wonderful weekend. And, as always, I love to hear from you my dear friends.
My best to you,
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