As you know, I like to experiment. Sometimes that just means that I like to try a new recipe from an exotic part of the world. Sometimes it just means trying an interesting combination of ingredients. Sometimes both. Oh, and sometimes I get an idea and 'invent' a recipe just to see how it will work (or not). This bread is based on a classic combination of ingredients but with the addition of chopped walnuts that give the bread an added crunch and a wonderful aroma. It is perfect for a late-morning brunch slathered with cream cheese or butter. Try toasting it lightly first then let the butter get soft. Yummmmm!
* This bread is dairy because of the cream. You can omit the cream if you like, or use a substitute (like soy milk) if you avoid dairy products.
Here's What You'll Need:3 to 3 1/2 cups AP flour
1 cup rolled oats (not instant)
1 Tbs. instant dry yeast
1/2 Tbs. salt
2 Tbs. sugar
1/3 cup dry milk powder ( I use baby formula for added nutrition)
2 Tbs. heavy cream (approx. 15% fat - but only 2 Tbs.)
about 1 1/3 cups warm water
1 cup chopped walnuts - lightly toasted
Here's What You'll Need To Do:
1. Mix together the dry ingredients (flour, oats, yeast, sugar, salt, milk powder) in a large bowl.
2. Add the cream then the water, slowly mixing as you go until a soft dough is formed.
3. Knead to strengthen the gluten for about 10 minutes on a lightly floured surface. Add the walnuts towards the so as not to 'cut' the gluten strands and help the bread keep its shape.
4. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, covered with a wet towel, to rise until doubled in volume. This will take about 1 1/2 hours at normal room temperature.
5. Remove the dough from the bowl to a parchment-covered baking sheet and form into a ball by tightening the dough and tucking underneath. Try to retain as much air as possible in the dough.
6. Cover and let the dough rest for another 30-45 minutes to rise again.
7. About 15 minutes before baking time, heat the oven to 350F (180C). Slash the bread about 1/2 inch (3mm) deep just before placing in the oven. Bake for about 35-40 minutes or until it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
8. Cool completely on a rack before serving (if you can).