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.
- 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
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.