On these cold, bitter -24 days here in Canada I find warmth and comfort in my cookbooks. I can sit and read Bouchon Bakery by Thomas Keller over and over. The techniques, skill and passion in this book is so inspiring and you feel a part of it as you read his stories throughout the cookbook. It reminds me of my days in baking school and one of my favourite classes; the art of bread! The abundance of information will inspire any baker to learn how to prepare and make their very own poolish.
It’s been a while since I’ve made bread and I didn’t realize how much I missed making it. Although I did not use a recipe from the book, not for today at least, I did find lots of inspiration. For simplicity I made a simple yeast bread; walnut honey bread, full of flavour and texture that will for surely warm you up this winter.
Yeast and Whole Wheat Flour Tips
- There are two types of whole wheat flour; soft and hard. When it comes to making yeast bread with whole wheat flour make sure you are using hard flour. Hard flour has a higher gluten content (or protein), which results in bread that holds its shape when baked. Soft flour has a lower gluten content which is great for muffins, cakes, etc.
- Whole wheat breads can require more time to rise (proof). You can do a slow rise with whole wheat dough by placing it in the fridge overnight. In this case, just make sure to bring the dough back to room temperature before moving on to the next stage.
- The rise on whole wheat flour may be less than expected. This can cause over proofing, be careful not to over proof your dough.
I love the heartiness the whole wheat flour brings to bread. It may take some getting used to but it’s worth experimenting with your bread. This walnut honey bread is full of flavour because of the whole wheat flour which gives texture and depth. Then it’s paired with honey and walnuts to sweeten and lighten the bread.Print
Walnut Honey Bread
This rich nutty bread is a fun change from your everyday bread making. The whole wheat flour adds heartiness and texture to the sweetness of honey. And the walnuts compliment the nutty notes with a little crunch!
- Prep Time: 4 hours
- Cook Time: 25 mins
- Total Time: 4 hours 25 mins
- Yield: 2 loaves 1x
- Category: Bread
- Cuisine: American
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 1/2 – 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup full milk at room temperature, or slightly warmed
- 1/4 cup liquid honey
- 2 Tablespoons melted butter
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
- In a large bowl add yeast, warm water and sugar. Let rest until frothy and bubbly, approx. 5-10 minutes.
- Add whole wheat flour, 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (reserve the other 1/2 cup and add flour if needed once you get to the kneading stage), add milk, honey, butter, salt and chopped walnuts. Using a wooden spoon mix dough until ragged. Turn out onto a work surface and knead dough until smooth and elastic, approx. 10 minutes (this is where you can add extra flour if the dough is too sticky, careful not to add too much flour. You can also use your stand mixer, using the dough hook to knead the dough).
- Place dough into a greased large bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let sit in a warm place until doubled in size, approx. 1-2 hours.
- Set out a baking sheet and set aside.
- Once dough has doubled, on a lightly floured work surface punch dough down. Divide dough in half and shape each piece into a rectangle (approx. 11 x 8 inches). Starting at the narrow end, roll into a cylinder; tightly pinching the ends as you roll, pinch to seal closed. Place seam side down on prepared baking sheet (leave lots of room between each loaf). Then, cover with plastic and let rest until doubled in size, approx. 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- Meanwhile preheat oven to 400˚F.
- Once dough has doubled, make a slash along the top of the bread using an extremely sharp knife; slash on a diagonal.
- Place in the middle of the oven and bake for approx. 20-25 minutes until bread is golden, crisp and sounds hollow when tapped.
- Transfer to a rack and let cool for 10 minutes before enjoying.
Freeze extra bread in a freezer bag for up to 2 months.
To get crispy bread the oven needs steam. There are a few tricks you can do to accomplish this. I use a spray bottle and spray water in the oven creating steam. Spray the bottom and the sides and quickly close the oven door. Make sure to avoid spraying lights in the oven. Do this approx. 3-4 times throughout the baking time. You just have to remember you are losing heat every time you open the oven door so be fast and turn your oven up, about another 15˚F higher (that’s only if you are going to try this method).
- Serving Size: per slice
- Calories: 78
- Sugar: 4.3g
- Sodium: 157mg
- Fat: 3.4g
- Saturated Fat: 0.8g
- Unsaturated Fat: 0
- Trans Fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 10.6g
- Fiber: 0.5g
- Protein: 2.1g
- Cholesterol: 3mg
Keywords: Bread, Walnut, Honey, Yeast, Breakfast