Walnuts are a delicious way to add extra nutrition, flavor and crunch to plain bread. Interior of the bread spotted a slight purple, the distinct color of walnuts. I love to pair this bread with blue or goat cheese. When toasted, the nutty flavor of walnuts really shine. While walnuts are harvested in December, they are available year round. It is a versatile pantry staple, good for baking as well as sprinkling onto yogurts or salads.
This walnut bread wins the prize for being the most photogenic bread. Walnuts left marbleized pattern of random streaks of purplish brown throughout the bread, not found with other ingredients. Other nuts, such as hazelnuts, almonds or pecans, may be substituted for taste, texture and nutritional benefits, but they won’t leave the trails of beautiful and darkened markers like those from walnuts.
A very small amount of instant yeast is added based on this recipe, which comes from Ken Forkish. This hybrid leavening dough may take less time to proof. But from my experience, an overnight cold proof in the refrigerator tends to produce a better oven spring. Patience is invariably rewarded in making artisan breads. The doughs have its own time schedule — little that I’ve learnt. You may attempt to speed it up by raising ambiance temperature, but the resulting bread may not be as good. After an overnight proof, the loaves can go straight to the oven. There is no need to bring them to room temperature.
This walnut bread is my “wonder” bread. Crusty, nutty and marvel to the eye.