Instructions

  1. Mix the flours, salt, yeast, and water in a large bowl. Stir, then use your hands to mix and form a sticky dough.

  2. Work the dough just enough to incorporate all the flour, then work in the fruit and nuts.

  3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let it rest at room temperature overnight, or for at least 8 hours; it'll become bubbly and rise quite a bit, so use a large bowl.

  4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and form it into a log or round loaf to fit your 14" to 15" long lidded stoneware baker; 9" x 12" oval deep casserole dish with cover; or 9" to 10" round lidded baking crock.

  5. Place the dough in the lightly greased pan, smooth side up.

  6. Cover and let rise at room temperature for about 2 hours, until it's become puffy. It should rise noticeably, but it's not a real high-riser.

  7. Using a sharp knife or lame, slash the bread in a crosshatch pattern. Place the lid on the pan, and put the bread in the cold oven. Set the oven temperature to 450°F.

  8. Bake the bread for 45 to 50 minutes, then remove the lid and continue to bake for another 5 to 15 minutes, until it's deep brown in color, and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers about 205°F. Remove the bread from the oven, turn out onto a rack, and cool before slicing.

Tips from our Bakers

  • Walnuts sometimes give this bread a faint purple tinge. If this bothers you, use pecans instead.
  • Using High-Gluten Flour, with its higher protein level, allows this bread to rise higher than it will with all-purpose flour.