I hope everyone had a lovely New Year's. If you're still looking for some kind of resolution, even a small one just so others might stop pestering you for your answer, might I suggest you bake yourself a nice loaf of bread. It's a feat I know many are scared of when the mention of rising dough and kneading are in the same sentence, but trust me when I say there is truly nothing like it. And walnut bread is the perfect place to start.
I actually made this bread at the end of October specifically for a grilled Colby cheese and plum sandwich I created for the Wisconsin Cheese Talk blog. It was an amazing sandwich that makes me wish plums were still in season around here so I could make it again. It does remind me that I should make this bread again though and soon. The perfectly browned crust breaks way into a soft center that distinctly taste of walnut and whole wheat. If you ask me, it's probably my favorite sandwich bread to use, but it makes great toast with a smear of jam or honey too.
I know walnut oil can be expensive and possibly hard to find in your area, so if you would like to substitute I'd suggest olive oil. You can also probably find ground walnuts to save a little time, but because walnuts have a high oil content they can go rancid quickly, so I would find whole walnuts and grind them yourself in a food processor or spice mill. And forgive me, I can't seem to remember where I found this recipe, I know I changed a few things to it, but if you have made this or know where it's from please let me know.
makes 1 loaf
2 tablespoons honey
1 packet active dry yeast
1 1/2 tablespoons walnut oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup ground walnuts
1 1/2 cups spelt flour
In a large bowl stir honey into 1 cup warm water until dissolved. Sprinkle in yeast, and let proof for 15 minutes. Add in the walnut oil and salt.
Gradually stir in the whole wheat flour and ground walnuts, then add in enough spelt four to make a soft dough.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8-10 minutes. You can alternately use the dough hook on a kitchen mixer.
Butter or grease a large bowl and turn the dough over in it to coat the surface. Cover with a clean towel and let sit in a warm place until doubled in bulk, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours.
Pound the dough down and shape into a loaf by folding the long ends into each other 3 times and securing the seem. Grease a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan. Put the dough, seem side down into pan and cover with towel. Let rise until double in bulk, 30-45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350˚F.
In a small bowl whisk the egg with 1 tablespoon water. Brush over the loaf (I forgot to do this, but it still came out good, just without a shinier top). Bake bread for 35-45 minutes, until the loaf sounds hallow when thumped. Remove from pan and let cool completely before cutting into.