Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Babes go nuts again

Another month, another episode of the Bread Baking Babes. And this time it's Elizabeths ("Blog from OUR kitchen") turn to find us a recipe to bake. And she came up with a wonderful loaf with Walnuts. We love a bit of nuttyness here (in more ways than 1). We eat 15 g of walnuts every day, it's said to prevent early demention and it should help to keep your brain fitter for longer and when it tastes good at the same time, I see no harm in that. So if we eat a few slices of this bread, we have our daily intake already.

I pretty much stayed close to the recipe, just didn't bother to soak the yeast, there really is no need to do that with instant yeast. Just threw the hot water in until the butter melted, then all the flours and let it cool until lukewarm. Then sprinkled the yeast on top and started the kneading. Worked very well. But definitely don't skip the roasting of the nuts, that does really give wonderful flavour. I added the ground ginger, but never tasted any of it in the final product. Very nice bread. I made the two rings as stated in the recipe, I'd make a large loaf or two smaller long loafs next time, that's just easier when making sandwiches for the guy's lunchboxes. Wonderful choice Elizabeth, my brains are doing well again! (who am I kidding?!)

Wanna bake this and get your brain in order again... yes you! you need it too. Bake along with us and become our Bread Baking Buddy, bake, post, write about your baking and send this all to our lovely and slightly nutty babe Elizabeth (go to her page on the how and whereto). Have fun with the baking!

Auberge Walnut Bread
makes 2 loaves
(PRINT recipe)
253 g walnut halves, divided (200 g whole walnut halves & 53 g walnut halves, finely chopped)
420 g boiling water
34 g milk powder
36 g unsalted butter 
10 g salt
0.5 g powdered ginger
84 g dark honey
634 g flour, divided in
- 250 g white bread flour
- 15 g flax seed, crushed (or ground)
- 360 g whole wheat flour
29 g wheat germ
6 g (2 tsp) active dry yeast
milk or cream for brushing during baking

Walnuts: In the morning of the day you plan to bake the bread, spread the walnut halves in a single layer on a cookie sheet and toast them in a 200ºC oven for 8-10 minutes. Set aside 200 g onto a plate to cool. Using a very sharp knife, finely chop the other 53 g.

Mixing the dough: Pour just-boiled water into a large mixing bowl. Whisk in milk powder. Immediately add butter, honey, salt and powdered ginger and whisk until the butter has melted and the honey is incorporated.
Add flours, wheat germ and finely chopped walnuts on top of one side of the large bowl and mix them. Wait for this mixture to cool doen to 30ºC or less. Add the yeast and start kneading.

Kneading: Knead in the bowl (or use your electric mixer's instructions for kneading) until the dough is smooth, "elastic and no longer sticky". Add more flour or water if the dough stays too wet or is too dry after 8 minutes of kneading

Proofing: Cover the bowl with a plate and allow to proof in a draft-free area (oven with only the light turned on is ideal) until the dough has doubled. Cover cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Walnuts and Shaping: Turn dough out onto a lightly floured board and divide in two. Roll each piece into a ball. Cover with a clean tea towel and allow to rest for 20 minutes. After their rest, flatten each ball into a disc and even divide the rest of the walnut halves on top, "pressing the nuts in slightly", then roll each piece of dough to form a log. Joining the ends to make a ring, place each log seam side down on the parchment paper. Cover with a tea towel and allow to rise in a draft-free area until the rings have almost doubled.

Baking: Preheat oven to 190ºC. Just before putting the bread in the oven, spray the tops liberally with water. Put the bread into the oven and immediately turn the thermostat down to 180ºC. After 35 minutes, brush the tops of the loaves with milk or and continue baking for about 10 more minutes until the loaves are nicely browned and have reached an internal temperature around 96ºC (the bread sounds hollow when knuckle-rapped on the bottom).Remove the bread from the oven.
Allow the bread to completely cool on a footed rack before cutting into it. It's still baking inside! Of course you may want to serve warm bread: reheat it after it has cooled completely. To reheat and/or rejuvenate UNsliced bread, turn the oven to 400F for 5 minutes or so. Turn the oven OFF. Put the bread in the hot oven for ten minutes.

(based on recipes for Le Pain de Noix in Auberge of the Flowering Hearth by Roy Andries de Groot and Pane di Noci in The Italian Baker by Carol Field


Elizabeth said...

I'm so glad you like the bread. Your ring looks fabulous, Lien!

And who knew that walnuts were so good for us? No wonder my brain is working so well suddenly! (heh, a girl can dream...).

Karen Baking Soda said...

Indeed we do need this bread in our lives! (didn't know about the walnuts against dementia, good one to remember ;-)
Beautiful rings Lien but I see that loaves would be better for daily use. Keep the rings shape for events!

hobby baker Kelly said...

I almost wished the ginger was more assertive at the end, but I loved the aroma in the initial dough. Your pretty little loaf looks so lovely and delicate with that scoring. :)

Karen said...

What a gorgeous ring you made! I had no idea about walnuts and dementia. Great excuse to make lots and lots of this bread!

Cathy (Bread Experience) said...

Your rings look lovely. I like the delicate scoring. Walnuts and dementia... who knew. You've given me another excuse to make this bread again.

Katie Zeller said...

Your bread is gorgeous! We have walnuts and almonds for snacks - in the shell. One doesn't eat mindlessly if one has to shell and pick the nuts lol

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Oh my .. your ring is just incredible! I think I really must bake as a ring now. Lucky I've been eating my walnuts for years or I probably wouldn't have any mind left;-)