This bread is delicious, different, and easy to make (although it does need to rise for three hours….). My favorite way to eat this bread is toasted, served with soft butter. A garlic and herb butter compote, or cheeses such as Humboldt Fog, goat cheese, and munster are also an amazing compliment to this bread. The buckwheat flour adds a nice savory flavor, and slightly more crumbly texture than your typical white bread. I highly recommend it.
This recipe is adapted from “Hallie’s Walnut Bread” in The Cheese Course by Janet Fletcher.
- 1 Cup Walnuts, toasted
- 1 Package of Active Dry Yeast
- 1/3 Cup Warm Water (About 110 degrees)
- 1 Cup Milk
- 1/3 Cup Butter
- About 3 1/4 Cups All Purpose Flour
- 1/2 Cup Buckwheat Flour
- 2 1/2 Teaspoons Salt
- 1 Large or 2 Small Minced Shallots
- 2 Tablespoon Cornmeal
Toast the walnuts at 350 degrees until fragrant, about ten to fifteen minutes. Sprinkle the yeast packet into the warm water and allow to dissolve for two minutes. Whisk, and allow to proof for ten minutes.
Chop the butter into tablespoon size pieces and place in a microwave safe dish with the milk. Microwave until the butter is just melted, and set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, mix 1 3/4 cups of all purpose flour, the buckwheat flour, and the salt. Mix in the proofed yeast, milk and butter, shallots and toasted walnuts until well blended. Add all purpose flour gradually until it does not mix any more. Turn out dough onto a floured surface and knead, adding all purpose flour as necessary, for five to seven minutes.
Shape the dough into a ball, place in a greased (butter or oil) bowl. Turn the dough to coat with fat. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for an hour and a half.
Sprinkle corn mean onto baking sheet. Punch down the dough, form into a ball and place on the baking sheet. Cover with a dish towel and allow to rise for another hour and a half.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. I like to sprinkle a little all purpose flour over the dough before cutting the ventilation grooves. Use a sharp knife to cut an X, or a couple of slashes on the top of your bread. This time, I tried using scissors. I think the knife works a little better.
Place a dish of ice water on your lower rack in your oven, and bake the bread for 30 minutes. Remove the water dish, and reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees. Bake for about another 30 minutes, until the loaf sounds hollow when you tap the bottom.
Allow to cool before slicing.
Makes one 8″ round loaf.