Walnut-Rosemary Bread

Making bread isn’t as hard as you may think. This basic recipe is jazzed up with walnuts and rosemary. I’ve always loved making my own bread and when a few years ago there was a huge hype about the book “The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day” by J. Hertzberg and Z. François, I decided I needed to get the book. I was not disappointed. Not only are the recipes well explained, they also have weight measurements for the ingredients. Making bread has never been so easy.

I’ve made my way through a large portion of the book, making some recipes several times. My loaves of bread turn out every single time and look lovely. I’ve even had people ask me where I bought such beautiful looking bread!
The following recipe is based on the basic recipe at the front of the book, but I’ve added some things to make it special. The addition of rosemary and walnuts makes this a fantastic bread for cheese, salads and soups.

Walnut-Rosemary Bread (adapted from The New Artisan Bread in 5 min a Day)

  •  680 g lukewarm water
  • 10 g granulated yeast
  • 17-25 g Kosher salt
  • 910 g all-purpose flour
  • 200 g walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1 Tbs finely chopped rosemary

Add the yeast and salt to the warm water in a large bowl and stir once. Mix in all the flour at once and mix with a wooden spoon until the mixture is uniform. Before all the flour in incorporated, add the walnuts and rosemary. You may need to mix the dough with wet hands at the end to ensure all the flour has been incorporated. Don’t knead the dough.

Cover the dough with plastic warp, but leave a small opening so air can circulate. Let the dough rise for about 2 hours. Now you can either refrigerate the dough and use it over the next 2 weeks or bake a loaf of bread. Don’t punch the dough down.

Dust the surface of the dough with flour. Either pull out a certain amount of dough and cut it or use the entire bowl of dough. Either way, fold the dusted part under to ensure a dusted ball of dough. This will only take about 20-40 seconds, again, don’t knead the bread. Place the ball on a baking sheet which has been covered with parchment paper. Let the loaf rise for 40 minutes.

Preheat the oven for 25-30 min to 230°C. Place an empty metal broiler tray at the bottom of the oven.

Dust the loaf of bread with flour and slash the bred with a serrated knife as desired. Place the loaf on a baking sheet that has been covered with parchment paper in the oven and quickly pour 1 cup of hot water into the metal boiler tray. Close the oven door immediately to trap the steam. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the crust is golden-brown and firm to the touch. Pull out the parchment paper after about 20 minutes of baking for a crisp bottom crust.

Allow the loaf to cool on a wire rack for about 2 hours before slicing.

Notes: I tend to use a heavier flour when making bread, most often what is called “Bauernmehl” here, a mixture of wheat and rye flours. The bread you see in the pictures is the full recipe and makes a very large loaf. I’ll often either mix the whole batch, bake a loaf and refrigerate the rest for later in the week or just mix half of the recipe.

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