I love how easy this recipe for walnut bread is. Homemade bread, perfect every time.
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. It comes out perfect and is great for sandwiches. This recipe is three quarters white bread 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. For this recipe we used Sonora whole wheat flour, an artisan flour from Barton Springs Mill, that they describe as “one of the oldest surviving wheat varieties anywhere in North America, predating Red Fife and Turkey Red wheat”. They said it had a nutty, buttery flavor well suited for richly flavored breads. It worked well in this recipe, especially with the nuts.
TIPS FOR MAKING BREAD
- 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.
- Use a stand mixer – it makes life so much easier.
- Use a thermometer to test the temperature of the milk – the temperature is very important.
- Use a thermometer to test if the loaf is done – more accurate than guessing or thumping.
- Use a scale to measure the ingredients – it is much easier and much more accurate – especially important when baking. Measuring flour with a measuring cup can be off by as much as a third of a cup. Just put the mixing bowl on the scale and zero the scale before adding each ingredient – so easy. This is so important that all the measurements are given in grams so you will have no choice.
- 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.
ON BAKING DAY
- 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.