A hearty whole wheat and walnut loaf in a festive shape to welcome fall.
Reader, due to unforeseen circumstances I missed another Saturday post. I should probably stop saying that I’m fully back in the blogosphere since things keep coming up that prevent me from being so. I’m pretending this is being posted on Saturday, so just use your imagination to that extent. Just don’t imagine so much that you miss work tomorrow.
This bread was on my list of things to bake for many months before I finally got around to doing it. I actually made it several weeks ago, but it seems like the perfect bread to post at the beginning of fall. It’s hearty, nutty, and would be perfect with any soup…particularly butternut squash or pumpkin soup, which I have yet to make this season but am craving. Not to mention it’s shaped sort of like a leaf!
(OK, Wikipedia has just informed me it is supposed to be shaped like an ear of wheat. I made my loaves leaf-shaped because I thought that’s what they were supposed to be. And I think they look rather fetching as such.)
Well, whether you want your loaves turn out like ears of wheat or leaves or whatever else, give this bread a try next time you need a showstopping loaf of bread!
Whole Wheat Walnut-Rosemary Fougasse
makes 2 loaves
adapted from the New York Times
- 2 tsp active dry yeast
- 1 tsp granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- 2 T walnut oil or olive oil
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 2 cups all-purpose or bread flour + more for kneading
- 1 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
- 1 large spring fresh rosemary, leaves removed and chopped
In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, dissolve yeast and sugar in water. Let sit for about five minutes until bubbly. Then add the oil, whole wheat flour, salt, and about 1 3/4 cups of the AP or bread flour. Begin mixing, either by hand or with the paddle attachment of a stand mixer. Once incorporated, switch to the dough hook if using a mixer, and continue to work for 8 to 10 minutes, adding the remaining 1/4 cup AP flour as needed. Total kneading time if working by hand should be about 10 minutes. The dough should be elastic.
Shape the dough into a ball and place in a large bowl that has been lightly oiled (I suggest olive oil for this). Cover and set in a draft-free place to rise until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
After the first rise is complete, punch down the dough and place it on a clean, lightly floured surface. A handful at a time, knead in the walnuts and rosemary. It may seem like they don’t want to become incorporated, but they will! Reshaped, return to the bowl, and cover for 15 minutes.
After the dough has rested, divide it into two even pieces. Flatten or roll dough into desired shape–something like an oval or rectangle–in the range of 7×9″. If you have trouble with the dough, let it sit for 5 minutes and then return to it and continue shaping. Once shaped, slash the dough to resemble the veins of a leaf using a very sharp paring knife, leaving a 2-inch border around the dough. Gently pull the dough apart at the slashes. Cover and let sit for 30 minutes. Now is a good time to start preheating your oven to 425ºF.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and hollow sounding.