So. Walnut bread. I've always loved it and have wanted to make my own for ages but to be honest I usually just buy La Brea Bakery Walnut Bread at Tesco as I love it, and it's labelled vegan. That one is a sourdough walnut bread mind you and as much as I love sourdough I've never had the guts to try my own, all that making a starter and feeding it, I just know I'll end up with some sort of cesspool of bad bacteria and end up poisoning myself. No. I'll leave the sourdough to the pro's until I brave up :-)
I had a search online and was either getting sourdough versions or soda bread versions until I came across this one. Rather embarrassingly it is from the Daily Mail but it was just what I was looking for - yeast based and very simple. I love that it called for fast action yeast too - something I used to be against but find I have been getting even better results with, plus, this makes the bread dead simple to make.
I did make a few changes, first, I swapped the olive oil with walnut oil, which seemed a bit of a no-brainer when making walnut bread. I must add too, I am now seriously in love with walnut oil, I made a salad dressing with it for lunch today that was mind blowing...not my recipe in case that sounded obnoxious!! lol.
Second, I reduced the amount of walnuts as I simply could not knead more than 100g into this bread and I'm happy with the amount in the end - you get walnuts here and there but it's not overtaking the bread - important. Third, the recipe was a bit vague on how to get the walnuts in there so I kneaded mine in after the second rise and further, I toasted the walnuts before using.
It all turned out perfect, the taste and texture in this bread is unbelievable - I am so happy with it and will be making this one often for sure :-) I was actually making this bread for a sandwich idea I had but it was too good not to be blogged on it's own! Can't wait to try the sandwich now ;-)
Walnut Bread: makes one good size oval shaped loaf.
500g strong white bread flour
2 tsp salt
7g sachet fast action yeast
4 Tbsp walnut oil
300ml hand hot water (120 - 130F)
In the bowl of a stand mixer add the flour, salt and yeast. I like to add hot water to a pyrex measuring jug and add the walnut oil then I insert a thermometer, when it is between 120 - 130F then I add it to the flour. If you don't have a thermometer you want the water hand hot, the water should be slightly hotter when you are using fast action yeast as opposed to yeast that you dissolve first in warm water.
Once you've added the water to the flour turn on the mixer with the dough hook attached and let it knead for about 10 minutes. I added another tablespoon of flour but resist the urge to add too much more flour, let the gluten develop through kneading. You can of course also knead by hand, same rule applies - don't add much more flour. When there is a couple minutes left I like to remove the dough and hand knead just to get a feel for the dough and to shape it into a nice ball. Grease a large bowl with a little walnut oil and place the dough inside, greasing the top of the dough as well. Cover the bowl tightly with cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
Whilst it is rising spread the walnuts out onto a baking sheet and pop into a pre-heated 200C oven for about 8 minutes or until ever so lightly golden and fragrant. Remove and let cool then roughly chop and set aside.
Punch the dough down and flatten out slightly then add some of the nuts, sprinkling them all over the surface of the dough. Fold the dough over and gently knead them into the dough, keep adding nuts and kneading gently until they are all added. Shape into a large oval then place on a baking paper covered baking sheet, cover loosely with cling film and place somewhere warm and let rise another hour.
Preheat the oven to 200C and dust the surface of the dough with flour then slash across the top 3 times on the diagonal with a sharp knife. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown and the loaf sounds hollow when you tap on the bottom. Transfer to a wire rack to fully cool.
Now it may sound sacrilegious to toast freshly baked bread but for me walnut bread must be toasted and I massively recommend it here - it transforms this bread into something altogether quite heavenly! I had my first taste toasted and slathered with Vitalite with a cup of coffee. Sigh. :-D
Source: Slightly adapted from The Daily Mail.
Nutritional Information: per 100g, a good size slice is about 70g.
Sat Fat: 1.5g