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Monday, April 25, 2011

Applesauce Walnut Bread

I had made this wonderful bread from Laurel Robertson's 'The Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book' when I had just started baking bread, and shared it at a potluck party at work. I got a few compliments for it, but mostly I really liked it myself. I have been wanting to make it again ever since but didn't get around to it. Too many good recipes, too little time. Sigh!

The ingredients
As the name suggests, applesauce and chopped walnuts are the star ingredients. Buttermilk is the liquid of choice. The other ingredients are whole wheat flour, yeast, oil, salt and some water. I made half the recipe, one loaf, and added 1.5 tsp vital wheat gluten to the 415g of wheat flour.

The ingredients

The applesauce is warmed well and the oil and buttermilk are gradually mixed in. The active dry yeast is proofed in some warm water.

Ready to mix wet ingredients into the flour + salt + yeast mixture

The dough was fairly sticky throughout the kneading process. I added about a tablespoon of flour to help with the stickyness. I had processed the walnuts in a mini-prep processor, so they were closer to being walnut meal rather than chopped walnuts. However, I believe that grinding rounded the pieces whereas chopping by hand would have made sharp edged pieces which would have cut the gluten. Also the finer texture helped the walnuts blend in fairly easily.

Walnuts are added towards the end of kneading

The risings
It was fairly hard to round the dough nicely because it was so sticky.

Ready for first rise

First rise is done

Deflated, rounded and ready for a second rise

At the end of the second rise

Shaped and ready for proofing

Proofed and slashed

The bread
I was on a time deadline with this bread and it was just a tad underproofed when it went into the oven. It did some oven spring.

Out of the oven


Nice crumb, but best of all... great flavor

This bread is just a tad on the sweet side, sweetness coming from the unsweetened applesauce (there are no added sweeteners). It would be hard to guess that the bread contained applesauce. The walnuts bits are noticeable but I love walnuts in bread. Not the best bread for savory sandwiches but it was wonderful toasted and with nut butters and jam. Yum!

Date: April 19, 2011
Recipe: Applesauce Walnut Bread from Laurel Robertson's book, 'The Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book'

Flours: Whole wheat
Bread specific ingredients: Applesauce, walnuts
Sweetener used: None
Liquid: Buttermilk and water

First rise time: 100 minutes
Second rise time: 55 minutes followed by 10 minutes of rounding and rest.
Proofing time: 40 minutes
Comments: Added 1.5 tsp vital wheat gluten (about 7 g in 415 g of flour). Care should be taken when adding oil and cold buttermilk to the warm applesauce. Grinding the walnut coarsely is not a bad idea. Make this bread again soon.


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