I’m hooked on walnuts at the moment. They’re delicious, highly nutritious (great source of omega 3 fatty acids and minerals, among other things), and have a such a fascinating shape.
I didn’t use to like them. But there are several food items I previously didn’t like which one day all of a sudden just harmonized perfectly in my mouth. Like olives, blue cheese and cod, for instance. And now walnuts. My advice to people who have a long list of food they don’t like: Keep trying them. You never know when your taste buds might change and it is such a loss in life to miss out on experiencing great food …
So this time I have baked a bread with walnuts. It is still a bread in the category “sandwich bread” based on my regular formula (boring – but it has almost limitless possibilities, and it always works ….). It is a pretty healthy bread with a low amount of white flour, and it tastes good. The oatmeal adds to the nutty flavor and the syrup helps balancing out the slightly bitter taste of the rye.
Spelt, Rye and Walnut bread
3 cups spelt flour
2 cups rye flour
1 cup roughly crushed walnuts
1 cup oatmeal
2 tsp salt
3-4 cups white bread flour (approx.)
2 1/4 tsp yeast (dissolved in a 1/4 cup warm water)
4 cups fat free milk
2 tbsp dark syrup
2 tbsp walnut oil
Following is a procedure that works for me in my kitchen with my tools. Other bakers might prefer a different procedure – I don’t think it matters a great deal. My experience is that whatever you’re used to or most comfortable with is most likely to bring out the best result.
- Dissolve the yeast as directed on the packaging and heat the milk to about 110 F.
- Mix spelt, rye, walnuts, oatmeal and salt in a bowl.
- Stir the oil and the syrup into the milk, then pour it over the dry ingredients together with the yeast. Stir well by hand or bread mixer, then add the white flour gradually until the dough is getting more solid – but still remains a bit sticky. Bread with spelt tends to get dry if you add too much flour.
- Try to knead the dough for a while, it is easier with a kneading machine but works well by hand too – you can add some oil to your hands if the dough gets too sticky and hard to work with. Spelt doesn’t need as much kneading as other bread.
- Leave to rise for 1 – 1 1/2 hour, then bring it out on the counter, add more white flour if necessary and knead lightly before splitting the dough in half and placing it into two greased bread tins.
- After rise for about 30 minutes (I left them for 40 minutes which was too long in my kitchen, the bread collapsed a bit in the oven), then brush with milk and sprinkle with oatmeal for decoration.
- Bake at 375 F at the mid rack (or 325 F in convection oven) for about 45 minutes. Take them out from the tins and knock underneath, you’ll hear a hollow sound if they are done. Put them back into the oven without the tins for another 10 minutes or so if needed.
- Cool on a rack.
I usually keep one bread on the counter and slice up the other one as soon as it has cooled down completely to put in the freezer. The sad thing about freshly baked bread is that it doesn’t stay fresh for very long. But the good thing is that you know about every single ingredient that’s in it. And of course – while it is fresh – it is such a pleasure to eat. Wrapping the bread into kitchen towels or into two paper bags helps keeping it for a little while. Plastic will make the crust go soft, but the bread will stay soft for longer. Shame to lose the crust, though.
I'm Currently living in Florida, USA, but I'm Norwegian born and bred. At the moment I enjoy baking bread and blogging about it. I enjoy blogging in general, because I like writing. But I'm trained as an illustrator, originally ... in England. One day I'll write a book. About bread. And illustrate it myself. Maybe. Life will see.