French Walnut Bread (#4)

All right, now this time, instead of stealing yet another recipe from Jack and Ruby’s 52 Loaves Project, I’ll finally add one of my own.
I came across this recipe for a French Walnut Bread some time last year, and it’s become pretty much a household fixture since, so I can assure you it’s an excellent bread and well worth making.

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You’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 700 g of spelt flour
  • a cube of fresh yeast (though I suppose you can also replace this with instant yeast)
  • sourdough for a loaf of about 1 kg (I had to use instant sourdough this time, though, which also works all right)
  • 4 tsp of sea salt
  • 2 tbsp of chestnut oil (or, if like me you haven’t got any, olive oil works just fine, too)
  • about 400 ml of lukewarm water
  • to be added later: 200 g of roughly chopped walnuts

Preparation follows the simple rules most breadmaking requires. Mix everything, except for the walnuts, together in a large bowl. I recommend mixing the yeast with some extra water first, and keeping it away from the salt for as long as possile – you know, the usual.

Knead the dough for about 10 minutes until it’s soft and doesn’t stick any more. Depending on whether or not you use fresh yeast and/or sourdough, there may well be some variation in the amount of water you’ll need to get there.

Let rise for about an hour in a warm place. Learning from Jack and Ruby I put the bowl into a plastic bag this time.
When the dough has about doubled in size, knead in the walnuts and form two oval loaves.
Cut across with a serrated knife, and let rest for about twenty to thirty minutes before baking.

Pre-heat the oven for a few minutes at about 200 °C . Place a small bowl of water in together with the bread.
If you went with two loaves, bake for about twenty minutes, reduce heat to about 160 °C and bake for another 15 minutes. Turn the heat off and wait for about five more minutes, then take out the loaves and let cool on a rack.

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I hope you enjoy this as much as we just did, once again!

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