Five Grain Bread with Walnuts

Five Grain Bread with WalnutsFive Grain Bread with Walnuts
Recipe from The Italian Baker by Carol Field

Notes: I bought a copy of The Italian Baker, used, a long time ago and its pages were already yellowed, its full-colour dust jacket faded from exposure to the sun. A little while ago, my mother-in-law bought me… The Italian Baker, but it was the new, revised edition. The most obvious difference in the 2011 version is the abundance of glossy full-colour photographs while the original only had ink sketches. The recipes appear unchanged for the most part, but the publisher's note says there are new ones, plus new ingredients, sources, blah blah. As befitting a serious baking book, the original book already included ingredient measurements by weight (in SI units) as well as by volume (in Imperial units). In addition, the updated volume now includes ingredients by weight in Imperial units as well, which is sad, since it just encourages people to continue using the antiquated system.

Anyway, this whole grain bread caught my eye for its inclusion of chopped, toasted walnuts, and five (well, four actually) different flours: AP wheat, brown rice, rye, oat and whole wheat. The only flour I didn't have already ground was oat: I used steel-cut oats processed in a spice grinder. There's quite a large quantity of instant yeast and salt in this bread. The former contributed to a healthy bulk ferment and proofing, and the latter made the bread a little too salty for my taste (when eaten plain).

These loaves turned out beautifully. The dough was easy to work with, the flavour was nutty and wholesome, and it included the goodness of four grains! Highly recommended, and will incorporate into my whole-grain bread baking repertoire.

ERRATA NOTE: If you are baking this from the 1985 edition, please note there is an error in the Metric weight measurement of the walnuts. 1¼ cups of walnuts weighs 125 g, not 300 g as incorrectly print in the original book.