© 2013 Mel IMG_5270

Raisin Walnut Sourdough

Walnut bread is kind of a cool creature.

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The walnuts release their oils into the dough which makes the bread turn a lovely light purplish color inside. They also lend some additional crunch and chew to the already chewy sourdough loaf.

In pastry school, we made a walnut sourdough, and it stands out in my mind as one of my favorite breads that we made. I wanted to recreate that bread with the addition of plump, sweet raisins and crunchy, toasted walnuts to my favorite whole wheat sourdough bread recipe.

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Raisin Walnut Sourdough

ADAPTED FROM THE BOUCHON BAKERY COOKBOOK  (I can’t say enough good things about this book! Love. It!)

  • 230 g Bread flour
  • 255 g Whole Wheat bread flour
  • 32 g Rye flour
  • 1/8 tsp instant yeast
  • 169 g sourdough starter*
  • 322 g water at room temperature
  • 2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 70 g chopped, toasted walnuts
  • 70 g raisins

*For details on how to make a sourdough starter see this post.

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flours, yeast, sourdough starter, and water. Using the dough hook, mix on low until the dough is just combined and hydrated. Now cover it with plastic wrap and allow it to autolyse for 20 minutes. During this time, the dough is hydrating and the yeast is starting to do its job, without the salt getting in the way. This will enhance the flavor of the finished bread.

2. After 20 minutes, sprinkle the salt over the dough and then knead on medium low speed for approximately 5 minutes, until the dough is nice and smooth and elastic. Add the walnuts and raisins and mix just until they are incorporated into the dough. You may need to stop and scrape the dough off of the dough hook at this time as it doesn’t always want to pick up the mix-ins easily. Once you have a nice uniform dough, transfer your dough ball onto a floured surface and knead it a few times to form into a round ball. Place it in a clean, lightly oiled bowl covered in plastic wrap for 3 hours.

3. Once the dough has risen for 3 hours, you’re ready to form the dough into two loaves. Divide the dough into two equal portions. Starting with the first one, flatten it out into a square-like shape. Now roll it up tightly, tucking the ends in and pinching the seam nice and tight! Now do the same with the second loaf. Place both loaves on a sheet pan lined with a silpat or parchment and dusted with cornmeal. Cover loosely with a damp towel and let proof in a warm place for 2 hours.

4. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 460 F. Prepare your oven with a steam tray (for an explanation see this post). Before putting the fully proofed loaves in the oven, score then using razor blade, 6 slashes on each side (see photo above). Put the loaves in the oven, quickly pour a cup of cold water into your steam tray and quickly close the door to keep all of the steam in.

5. Bake 25 minutes or until the crust is brown, the loaves sound hollow when the bottoms are tapped, and the internal temperature reads 200F. Allow to cool slightly before enjoying. As this is a simple dough with no added fat aside from the nuts, it is best enjoyed fresh the day it is made, but is also great toasted within the next couple of days.

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