Carrot and Walnut Levain Whole-Wheat Bread

If you like carrot cake, you’re going to love this carrot walnut bread. The taste of the carrot is very mild. But carrots give the bread the lovely orange tinge. You seldom come across carrot bread in the commercial world. Carrots are not commonly used ingredients in bread-making. I don’t know why. I also did not know what to expect from this bread except a casual sense of indulging in the realm of “why nots?” I was duly rewarded in taking the path less-well traveled.

Quite to my surprise, the bread is amazingly moist with a slight sweetness from the carrots. Walnuts give the bread some crunch and a nutty character to the bread. Carrots and walnuts work well together.

This is a levain bread with a healthful 50% in whole wheat flour from Jeffrey Hamelman’s Bread. He uses yeast in this recipe. I skipped that since my starter was quite active. My levain dough usually rises well without much help from dry yeast. I’ll let the dough do its own thing. I followed its own schedule instead of imposing my own. Bulk fermentation took 3 hours instead of 1.5 hours when yeast had been added. The final rise also took twice as long, 2 hours instead of one.

In addition to shaping the dough to fit into the round and oval benettons, I shaped a third piece of dough in a small batard. Let it rest in the ubiquitous 9-inch rectangular cake/bread pan and baked it in a similar size dutch oven. That gave me a chance to work on different shaping techniques. And kept me on my toes.

Carrots add an orange tinge and moisture to the bread

Yeast is optional


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