Saturday, May 31, 2008

Walnut Bread

Walnut Bread
The Food Editor of the San Diego Union Tribune had an entertaining article this week on learning to economize in a time of increased costs of living. For many of us who have been full-time homemakers and have enjoyed cooking have followed many of her "cost cutting measures" routinely but not intended as cost cutting. These choices were made mainly as healthy benefits.
This recipe was published this week with the statement that she went to the store and her favorite loaf of walnut bread was $6.00 so it was time to pull out the bread machine because she could make it for 69 cents. (The cost of her nuts exceeds that so I am not to sure about her math.)
I am on my third bread machine which has been semi retired since moving to California. My husband enjoys the artisan breads available which offer types unavailable in many locations. Some of his favorites are the sourdough baguette, Asagio cheese bread, Olive bread, rosemary bread, many varieties of grain breads and foccia. Along with the taste of wonderful homemade bread, making your own bread offers the simple fact that you know what ingredients are in the bread you eat.
Walnut Bread (in 7 minutes active time)
2 teaspoons dry yeast
3 cups bread flour
1 1/4 cups, plus 1 Tablespoon water
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup coarsely chopped toasted walnuts
Cooking oil spray
Extra flour for forming loaves.
Place yeast flour, water olive oil, salt sugar, and walnuts into bread machine in order listed. Choose dough setting (or the setting which does not bake the bread.) Turn on the machine.
Spray a loaf pan or baking sheet with cooking oil spray and set aside. When dough cycle ends, sprinkle a small amount of flour on a clean counter. Punch the dough a couple of times to let the air escape, and place dough on floured surface, turning lightly to coat surface. Pull and stretch the dough into an oblong loaf shape. Cut oblong in half, and tap cut ends in flour. Pull each half into baguette shape (or form into two round loaves. Let loaves rise uncovered, at room temperature for 30 to 35 minutes, or until they reach the desired size.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Using a kitchen scissors, snip three slashes into top of each loaf. Place the loaves in the hot oven and spray with a little water on sides of oven. Bake uncovered until bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped, about 25 to 35 minutes. Spray the oven again after 10 minutes if desired. If not eating the bread immediately, remove it form the pan, preferably to a wire rack.

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