On our regular menu and recently used as part of a cheese board for one of our wine dinners, this walnut bread is quite easy and quick(ish) to make.
To save a bit of time kneading we mix the dough with a dough hook on the mixer and let it go for 6 to 9 minutes. Certainly saves some damage to the wrists and manicure.
(All measurements are metric and spoon measurements are Australian Standards sizing.)
Plain flour – 250 grams
Yeast – 2 teaspoons ( I use Lowan Instant Dried Yeast, which you can store in the freezer)
Honey – 1 ½ tablespoons
Extra Virgin olive oil – 2 tablespoons
Water (36 celsius) – 165 ml
Walnuts – 120G
Salt – pinch
Place all ingredients except walnuts in to bowl of mixer, mix on slow to combine and then turn to medium for 6 – 9 minutes. If you feel that it is too dry add a little water, if it seems too wet add a little flour. It should form a nice ball but not be too firm.
Remove the dough from the bowl, spray the bowl with oil spray and return the dough to the bowl, cover with a dampened cloth and leave in a warm spot. If your oven has a proving setting, take advantage of it.
While your dough is rising, break your walnuts up a bit. I just use my fingers and break them in about 6 pieces, you don’t want them too fine.
Spray a small loaf tin, ours are 21 x 5 x 5 cm. or you can free form it for a rustic look.
When the dough has doubled in size, approximately 45 minutes, turn it out on to a floured bench and knead lightly for 2 minutes and then push it in to a rectangular shape. Lay the nuts over the dough and then roll it all up in to a sausage shape and then bring the ends into make a pile of dough again.
Now for the hardest part, kneading with nuts. You knead for about 6 minutes by which time the nuts should be fairly well combined with the dough and not falling out. Don’t be too hard on the nuts while kneading, you don’t really want to crush them too much.
Shape the dough to fit you tin or if you are free forming, spray a heavy baking sheet with oil spray and form the dough in to a sausage shape and place on to the tray. Cover with the damp cloth and leave to rise for 45 minutes in a warm spot. If you a re free forming try to keep the cloth off the dough.
While you wait to for it to rise, have a coffee (or champagne) and catch up on my blog.
Pre heat your oven to 170C fan forced.
I usually just give the top a quick spray with the oil spray before placing in the oven to cook for approximately 25 minutes. Should sound hollow wen tapped on the bottom if not give it a couple of minutes extra.
Place on a cooling rack to cool.
Slice to your desired thickness and serve with your favourite cheese selection. This goes really well with a nice soft cheese.
Hope you enjoy this recipe!