31 March 2009

Walnut Bread Rx

Walnuts are tricky.

They're one of the healthiest foods you can eat- positively loaded with omega-3s- but much like green tea (an even more potent elixir), they're often snubbed for their too-bitter taste.

But it's all in the quality, and presentation. If you start with the freshest nuts, or tea leaves, and treat them right, they will reward you with a deep, rich flavor and subtle sweetness.

This French walnut bread, or pain au noix, is proof. Another of Nancy Baggett's no-knead loaves, the recipe is from Serious Eats, and wouldn't change a thing. (Just make sure your dough is very stiff throughout the process- I think mine was a little too moist, so it didn't crown into that classic boule shape.) Regardless, the bread turned out incredibly flavorful, with a pleasant chewy texture and none of the denseness that can plague whole-wheat loaves. Using a Dutch oven to bake it is a simple method for a toothsome, gorgeous reddish-brown crust- plus, you get to say "Dutch oven" when people ask how you made it, and that's always funny.

Brew up your favorite green tea (try a delicate, creamy Uji Gyokuro) to have alongside a few slices, and the antioxidants coursing through your body will be almost palpable. And on top of those health benefits, you'll gain that delicious sense of superiority as you eat your toast with melting puddles of butter and honey, thinking, "My breakfast is better than yours."

For more gluteny goodness, check out YeastSpotting.


AC said...

i have a dutch oven and i love walnuts. also have a boy in the house who possesses a weakness for carbs.

this sounds most excellent!

Susan/Wild Yeast said...

I love walnuts and love your bread and your breakfast, which definitely *is* better than mine today! Thanks for joining YeastSpotting.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

I haven't had breakfast yet but I don't have this bread so I'm sure whatever I come up with won't be this good. Your words though are delicious and nearly enough for breakfast.

Mary Bergfeld said...

This looks lovely. My breakfast of cornflakes pales in comparison to a slice of your bread toasted.inali

Anonymous said...

Oooh, yum! I'll bet it would be even better with black walnuts, which taste sort of winy. We have three black walnut trees, but the squirrels beat us to them every year. I'll have to get my southern relatives to send me some so I can try them in this bread.

melanie said...

wow! actually I just recieved Nancy Baggette's "the breadbreaktrough" recipe book. She's giving this free till apr 30, 2009. It contains fifteen recipe book. Pretty nice :)