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The Best Walnut Bread Recipe

This Master recipe is our Best Walnut Bread Recipe for Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread.


We decided to do some research and use all the tips we could find to make the best walnut bread recipe. What we created is an incredibly flavorful walnut bread The key was to use the best ingredients and the best method for adding the most flavor. The brands made a big difference, so we researched and listed the best brands to use.

This recipe turned out to be easy and foolproof as well. We make up a batch of dough in minutes and put it in the refrigerator overnight. The overnight refrigeration allows the bread to rise slowly, improving the flavor, and creating a dough that doesn’t need much kneading. It makes two loaves that can be baked on different days, anytime in the next four days, making it easy and convenient. Perfect for sandwiches.

This recipe is three quarters all purpose flour and one quarter whole wheat flour. This seems to be the ratio that makes a really good sandwich bread without the whole wheat being overwhelming or causing the bread to crumble. This recipe uses a whole kernel, stone ground, artisan flour for the whole wheat flour portion. It’s worth the trouble of seeking out a special flour from a small mill to add flavor. Honey is included to add sweetness because whole wheat is used. This is another opportunity to add flavor, since there are so many different flavors of honey. Butter is added because the germ is included in the whole wheat flour, so it needs some enrichment.


  • Use the best ingredients – brands matter! We included the brands we used.
  • The dough is made one day, and then refrigerated for 1 to 4 days, making baking flexible.
  • A stand mixer makes bread making so much easier.
  • A thermometer is needed to test the temperature of the milk – the temperature is very important.
  • Use a scale to measure the ingredients – it is much more accurate and this is especially important when baking. Measuring flour with a measuring cup can be off by as much as a third. Put the mixing bowl on the scale and zero the scale before adding each ingredient – so easy. Measuring by weight is so important that the measurements are given in grams so you will have no choice. You can thank me later.


Variations on this recipe can be made by changing the butter to oil, using a vegetable or a nut oil, using different flavors of honey, using whole wheat flour from different mills, or adding different nuts or grains.

The Best Walnut Bread Recipe
The Best Walnut Bread Recipe



It is important to understand a little of the science of making enriched bread. There are very few ingredients, so each ingredient has a key roll. Enriched breads are different from hearth or sandwich breads in that they have additions like eggs, milk, sugar and butter. They are often made for holidays and celebrations. These ingredients are an opportunity to add a lot of flavor, but make it harder for the dough to rise.


Brands vary in quality, weight and consistency, so it is important to choose quality brands for the main ingredients and stick with them as you change other ingredients in the bread. These are the brands we use.

FLOURGold Medal Unbleached All Purpose Flour has a lower protein amount than bread flour and some all purpose flours – 10.5 percent protein. This is a good flour for baking enriched breads, since it makes the baked goods more tender. In addition, the company ensures that the protein content is carefully calibrated, so you get consistent results. Also, it is important to use the unbleached flour. Bleaching makes the flour whiter, but it interferes with the activity of the yeast.

SUGAR – We use Wholesome organic sugar, because it is produced from sugar cane fields that are green cut and are not burned or treated with herbicides or synthetic fertilizers. Burning sugar cane fields contributes to air pollution and climate change, and is a major cause of the destruction of the rain forest. Buying sugar from fields that are green cut helps prevent this destruction. The sugar also has a better taste because of how it is produced, but mostly we use it because it is a sustainable choice. It is more expensive than buying the standard brands, but the difference is only a few cents per recipe, so it’s worth it. We also save money by buying this in bulk direct from the company and storing it in jars in the pantry. Instead of buying brown sugar, we add some molasses, since brown sugar is just sugar with molasses added. This saves money, since brown sugar is more expensive than white sugar, and it saves storage.

HOMEMADE BROWNED BUTTER FROM HORIZON ORGANIC BUTTER – Using browned butter, or buerre noistte as it is known in France, adds a huge amount of flavor to baked goods. We use Horizon Organic butter to make browned butter. We think Horizon products taste better than any other dairy products we have tried. This is probably because the products are organic and from family farming partners. Just as important, Horizon is a certified B corporation that has committed to becoming carbon positive across their entire supply chain by 2025.

HOMEMADE CREAM CHEESE FROM HORIZON CREAM – We use Horizon Organic  cream to make cream cheese. It’s real cream cheese, made with nothing but a culture and Horizon cream. We save money by buying cream by the half gallon at a big box store. It’s also easy because we make it in the Instant Pot.

WATER – Using more water allows the gluten to form naturally without kneading the dough.

YEAST – The yeast must be good quality and not past its expiration date. We use saf-instant. Instant yeast is easier to work with and is more reliable because of how it’s processed. If it’s in date, it doesn’t need to be proofed (soaked in water to prove it is active) before using it. It can just be added to the mix, but soaking it will hydrate it and give it a head start. The water temperature should be between 95 and 115 degrees F, ideally 110 degrees F (over 120 will harm the yeast). Store the yeast in an air tight container in the freezer.

SALT – We like the quality of Diamond Kosher salt and don’t want the iodine taste. The weight and structure of salt varies between brands so it is important to chose a salt and stick with it to be consistent. Salt will interfere with the activity of the yeast. This might be a problem, or it might be something that is desired in order to slow down the yeast. Mixing the salt with the flour before adding the yeast will help limit the effect. Don’t use salt with iodine, because the taste can be disagreeable.

BARLEY MALT SYRUP or MAPLE SYRUP – Many of the same flavors of baked bread are found in barley malt syrup, so we often add some to the dough to increase the flavor. Maple syrup can also add a rich flavor to sweet enriched breads.

SPICES – Ordering spices in bulk from a spice dealer will give you a great price and the best quality. This will make a huge difference in your baking. We order most spices from World Spice Merchants, because they carry a huge variety of top quality spices.

TIME – Time can also be considered an ingredient, and it makes a huge impact on the finished product. Over time, the starch in the flour converts to sugars and other flavors are released. This process requires about twelve hours. At the same time, the yeast is increasing and causing the dough to rise. Most recipes allow the bread to raise for only a few hours at room temperature. Slowing this process down, by putting the dough in a cold place, will allow the flavors to develop before the yeast has caused the dough to rise. This is easy to do at home just by putting the dough in the refrigerator. It can be much harder for a bakery to do because of the limited space in the refrigerator, so bakery bread is often made with a portion of refrigerated dough (a poolish or a biga) and a portion of fresh flour and water making the recipes more complicated. This explanation is an over simplification of a much more complicated process, but it does give a clearer picture of why this works. Another method of slowing down the fermentation is by using less yeast and allowing the dough to ferment at room temperature, but enriched doughs contain eggs and dairy products, so it is not safe to allow the dough to remain at room temperature for that long.


WEIGH THE INGREDIENTS – It is very difficult to accurately measure dry ingredients, like flour, in a volume container, like a measuring cup. The ingredients for baking bread need to be measured by weight, using a scale. And it is easier and more accurate to use grams instead of having to do the math on ounces and pounds. Using weight to measure the ingredients is also easier – just place the bowl on the scale and zero the scale after each measurement.

Best Dutch Oven Bread Recipe
Weigh the Ingredients

KITCHEN THERMOMETER – The milk needs to be at a certain temperature range to activate the yeast and not kill it, so a thermometer is very important.

HYDRATING THE YEAST – Sprinkling the yeast on warm milk or water before mixing it with the other ingredients allows the yeast to warm up and become active before the dough is refrigerated, so it can be put into the refrigerator immediately after mixing.

WETTER DOUGH -The method for making this bread is to use more water. Using more water allows the gluten to form naturally without much kneading.

Best Dutch Oven Bread Recipe
Wetter Dough

LONGER FERMENTATION – During the first rise, The dough develops flavors as the carbohydrates are broken down and sugars and other compounds form. This takes 12 to 18 hours. Any longer and the dough will start to develop a sourdough taste. In most recipes, the dough is only allowed to rise for a couple of hours, and the flavors have not developed. Refrigerating the dough will slow down the fermentation and allow the dough to rise for twelve hours while the flavors develop. The slow rise improves the taste, but also makes it much easier to make. The bread dough can be made in the evening and baked the following day at a convenient time. A batch of dough comes together in minutes with very little work, and next morning it is ready to shape and bake. Folding the dough a couple of times about an hour after refrigerating it will help it cool down evenly and improves the shape. These folds also help the dough develop elasticity and will improve the rise. Dough that has been refrigerated will have more flavor but will be a little lower in height.

Pain a l’Ancienne French Bread dough
Bread dough

ALLOW THE DOUGH TO WARM UP – when the dough has completed the fermentation, it is removed from the refrigerator and allowed to warm up for 30-60 minutes.This will result in a better crumb.

PROOFING THE DOUGH – The dough is shaped while it’s still fairly cool, and then left to proof at room temperature. Proofing will take longer than if it was left at room temperature during the fermentation stage, usually about an extra hour.

DIVIDE THE DOUGH – Cut the dough with a scissors or sharp knife instead of pulling and tearing it, which can deflate it.

SHAPE THE DOUGH – Place the dough smooth side down on a lightly floured counter. Push on it slightly while making circular motions. This causes the dough to connect to the surface enough to develop a skin, which will improve the rise.

ALLOW BREAD TO COOL COMPLETELY – The bread will continue to bake with residual heat after removed from the oven. Do not cut into it until it is completely cooled.

The Best Walnut Bread Recipe
The Best Walnut Bread Recipe

The Best Walnut Bread Recipe

Best Walnut Bread Recipe

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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Course: lunch
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Walnut Bread
Servings: 12
Calories: 422kcal
Author: Lisa LeCoump
This Master recipe is our Best Walnut Bread Recipe for Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread


For certain products, the choice of brand will make a big difference in the outcome of the recipe and in your carbon footprint. So, for those products, we have listed the brand. We are not paid to mention a brand and have no affiliates.




  • Heat the milk to lukewarm (about 95 degrees F). Whisk the yeast into the milk.
  • Using the scale, measure flours, salt, honey, oil and egg into the mixing bowl of a stand mixer. Add the milk mixture.
  • Using the paddle attachment, mix on low speed for 2 minutes.
  • Switch to the dough hook. Increase speed and mix on medium low for 4 minutes.
  • Increase speed and mix on medium for 2 minutes.
  • Knead the dough for 1 minute on a lightly oiled surface and form it into a ball.
  • Put the dough in a clean, lightly oiled bowl with enough room for it to double in size. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 to 4 days.


  • Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Divide it in half. Shape it into two sandwich loaves. Place them in buttered loaf pans. Oil the top and cover lightly with plastic wrap. One can be put back into the refrigerator at this point to be baked on a different day.
  • Let the dough rise for 2 hours or until it has a dome about an inch above the pan.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake until golden brown, rotating once to ensure even browning. This should be about 40 to 50 minutes, or until internal temperature is about 185 degrees.
  • Remove from the pan and cool on a rack. Wait until cool before slicing.


Calories: 422kcal | Carbohydrates: 60g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 33mg | Sodium: 551mg | Potassium: 241mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 258IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 74mg | Iron: 3mg


Check out the chart on the blog post to see how food choices affect climate change. This recipe uses responsible brands and items that are lower on the chart and the production creates less greenhouse gas.
Tried this recipe?Show us on Instagram and Mention @tonyfitzgeraldphotography


While looking for the best ingredients to make this bread, we discovered that many companies that care about quality also care about sustainability. This made a huge dent in our carbon footprint. We have listed the brands for some of the ingredients because ingredients are everything. These brands give superior results. And by using brands like Horizon butter and milk we cut our carbon footprint (see: we cut our carbon footprint in half ) and are helping to control climate change.

Nutrition Facts
Best Walnut Bread Recipe
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat
Trans Fat
Polyunsaturated Fat
Monounsaturated Fat
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Photos by Tony Fitzgerald Photography


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