100% Whole Wheat Walnut Loaf

Whole wheat bread this week so I don’t have to buy any at the farmers market! And even better, whole wheat bread with nuts! Alan and I have been buying big jugs of mixed roasted nuts at Costco. He adds them to his yogurt and cereal, I add them to salad or sneak handfuls when the mood strikes.

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Everything is ready, though the gluten is hiding off to the side.

I have Peter Reinhart’s Whole Grain Breads, and I made bread from it religiously for a while, then I stopped. Partly it was because the process took at least two days, but mostly it was just one of those things. The bread sure tasted good. Anyway, I was excited to bake whole wheat bread again, and adding the taste, texture and nutrition of walnuts could only be good.

First I toasted the walnuts, and ran into an unexpected complication; my 14-year-old, who kept eating them! Finally I toasted some extras and gave them to her so I’d have enough left for the bread. I also told her we keep a jug of roasted nuts in the same cupboard as the breakfast cereal. Somehow this was news to her.

I made the sponge, and sprinkled the flour mixture on top. I was a little worried, because my yeast is at least two years old and well past its expiration date.

100% whole wheat walnut loaf wet ingredients 3648x2736100% whole wheat walnut loaf dry 3648x2736  100% whole wheat walnut loaf combining wet and dry 3648x2736

It took a while for the flour on top of the sponge to start to bubble through, but eventually it did.I mixed everything together in my trusty KitchenAid. The only hitch was that I did all of this in the midst of picking my older daughter’s friend up from the bus so I could take the two of them to camp the next day, and in my haste I grabbed the canola oil instead of the pumpkin seed oil I meant to use. I set the dough up for its first rise and ran out the door. Everything looked fine upon my return, so I set up the second rise and went out for dinner. Our expedition took a little longer than the prescribed one hour rising, and my yeast proved it still had what it takes:

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The bottom of the duct tape, legacy of my daughter’s crafty period, marks the 1.5x rise mark, the target bulk for my risen dough. My yeast is still active, no worries.

I shaped the dough, put it in the pan to rise, and once again the yeast metabolized for me. 100% whole wheat walnut loaf raw in pan 3648x2736

An exciting development. My bread almost never expands over the sides of the pan. I bet the gluten helped.

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This one’s going into the freezer so I can eat it at my leisure.

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6 thoughts on “100% Whole Wheat Walnut Loaf

  1. Hi Rachel–great looking bread! I liked it too, but mine seemed heavier than yours. Great flavor,though. Love the taste of those walnuts. A friend of mine took a trip to Hawaii and brought back a bag of macadamia nuts. My husband was eating them by the handful….so I hid the bag! I wasn’t going to get any otherwise!! 🙂 Stop by and see my bread if you have a moment. Michele at http://www.artfuloven.com

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