Walking into a new bakery in Everett, I looked at the baskets of bread and read over the menu chalkboard. Each day a different bread was featured and as I read down the list, my eye stopped at walnut bread...the bread for Friday. You all know by now that I love, love Club Med's white chocolate bread, but my guy loves their walnut bread.
I got so excited when I saw it listed on the menu, but sadly it was Wednesday and the walnut bread was not available. Knowing I would probably not get back to the bakery that day, I hunted for a walnut bread online and decided to try one by King Arthur's Flour.
You may remember from my previous bread baking post that I am still a novice bread baker. My mother was a master bread baker, baking 4 to 8 loaves of Norwegian Rye each week...ok, ok, some people do call it Swedish Rye. I so regret that I never took the time to learn bread baking from her. Yet, this walnut bread recipe was really quite easy to follow, even for a beginner like me, and the bread came together well. I must admit the end product was not the prettiest...still need to work on my loaf shaping technique...but the flavor was wonderful. The Club Med walnut bread is darker, perhaps has some whole wheat flour? Not sure, but this recipe has a mildly sweet flavor due to the honey and will fill the void for now until I can get my hands on the Club Med walnut bread recipe. Can't wait to share it with my guy!
Walnut Bread by King Arthur's Flour
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/4 cup walnut or olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 6 cups (approx.) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- 2 cups walnut pieces, toasted until lightly browned
- Dissolve the yeast in the water. Add 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour and let sit for 10 minutes to give the yeast a chance to get going.
- Stir in the honey, oil, and salt.
- Add the flour, a cup at a time, until the dough has formed a shaggy mass.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter. Knead the dough, adding flour as necessary, to form a smooth and satiny ball.
- Put the dough into a bowl and drizzle with a tablespoon of oil; turn the dough to coat it with the oil.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp towel. Let the dough rise until it is puffy, about 1 1/2 hours.
- Gently deflate the dough and knead in the walnuts.
- Divide the dough in half and form each half into a ball. Place on a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment or greased and sprinkled with cornmeal or semolina flour.
- Cover the loaves with damp towels and let rise until swollen. This will take 30-45 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F; the loaves will burn if the oven is too hot.
- Sprinkle flour on top of the loaves, and use a serrated knife to slash a cross in the top of each loaf about 1" deep.
- Bake the loaves for 35-45 minutes, until they are well browned and sound hollow when thumped on the bottom; their internal temperature will measure 190°F on an instant-read thermometer.
- Put the loaves on a rack to cool, and let sit for at least 20 minutes before cutting.
And if you are a local and love bakeries like I do, go and check out Choux Choux Bakery on Grand in Everett.
Choux Choux was having a tasting party the day my friend and I went. Everything we tried was delicious....truly wonderful!
If you live in the Pacific Northwest, hopefully you got a chance to go outside and enjoy the sunshine! Oh my...it felt wonderful after our lonnnnng winter of rain and grey cloudy days! For a little blast from the past, enjoy a little John Denver with one of his epic songs...
Happy Friday, my friends! Those of you heading out on Spring Break...have a great time! Hope you catch some sun somewhere. Warmly, Gracia