Posted by: Anja | November 9, 2010

Walnut Bread

Since a couple of weeks, I’ve been making my own bread. It started when I got the hang of yeast (which I was afraid of only a few months back because of a rather unfortunate experiment making garlic knots). Since my stay in Sweden a couple of years ago, I’ve been really into walnut bread. It’s white bread, but it doesn’t taste too sweet and the walnuts give it a nice touch. I used to walk 20 minutes to the next supermarket in Stockholm, where the sold my favorite walnut bread (or valnötsbröd) just for the fun of walking and eating fresh bread afterwards. With yeast, I can actually skip the walking and just enjoy fresh bread every morning. Yey! :D

I think I’ve made this recipe altogether maybe five or six times. Generally, there are probably still possibilities for improvement, but I have to say that I like the bread like this. It’s rather basic and doesn’t have a strong taste, but it’s suitable as breakfast bread to go with chocolate spread or jam, which I love.

Walnut Bread

400g flour
1 teaspoon of salt
1 1/4 teaspoon of yeast
250ml warm water
1-2 tablespoons of corn syrup
50g of walnuts
a little bit of milk
cooking spray or canola oil

First step: Mix together the flour, salt and yeast. Separately, mix the warm water and corn syrup, use a spoon to stir both together until the water has a slightly brown color. Add 220ml of the mixture to the flour and use a spoon to stir everything together. Try combining all the ingredients together with your hands by starting to knead. If the dough doesn’t come together, add a little bit more water until you can form a real dough ball that doesn’t stick to your hands, but sticks together.

Second step: Chop the walnuts into small pieces and add to the dough. Knead again to fully incorporate for circa three to five minutes, maybe adding a little bit of water also to make kneading easier (depending on how much water you added beforehand). Slightly oil a bowl with cooking spray or canola oil and put the dough ball into it, turning it around to coat completely with a slight layer of oil. Wrap the bowl with plastic foil and let the dough rise for two to three hours until doubled in size, depending on the flour you’re using. As explained in my previous post, the way the dough rises totally depends on the kind of flour you’re using. You can make this bread with all-purpose flour, but I like high-gluten flour better.

Third step: Oil a small loaf form. Press down the dough with your flat hand in the bowl, then take it out and put it into the loaf form. Cover the loaf form with plastic wrap and let the dough rise again for 30 minutes. Preheat your oven to 200°C/400°F.

Fourth step: Brush the top of the dough with milk and then put into the oven for 25 minutes. The bread should be a slight golden brown on top and should sound hollow if you knock against it. Get it out of the loaf form and let cool on a wire rack or a plate. Store in a plastic bag once cut to keep it from getting dry and eat it within three to four days if you don’t want to freeze it.

The loaf this recipe yields is not big, I usually eat it within three days though I have to say that I eat four to five slices each morning (they are small!). :)

*UPDATE*
Optionally, use one tablespoon of sugar additionally to all the other ingredients. This will help to rise your dough faster and at least for me, it made the bread a bit fluffier!

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