Pain Aux Noix

Nut bread is the simple translation of pain aux noix, one of France's delightful whole-grain loaves. This golden, tender bread is fairly simple to make, but the texture and flavor are complex: oven heat brings out the walnuts' flavor, as well as the deep, rich taste of whole wheat. Serve this bread, thinly sliced, with a nice goat cheese, Roquefort, or a Brie or Camembert.
Prep
17 mins
Bake
25 to 27 mins
Total
2 hrs 28 mins
Yield
two 6" round loaves
Pain Aux Noix

Instructions

  1. Combine all of the ingredients except the nuts, and knead — by hand, mixer, food processor or bread machine — until smooth.
  2. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl and let it rise, covered, for 1 hour, or until it's doubled in bulk.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly greased surface and gently but thoroughly knead in the walnuts. This will seem like messy work at first (the nuts will keep falling out onto the work surface), but persevere — eventually they'll stay where they belong.
  4. Divide the dough in half, and shape each half into a ball. Place the balls on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet, and let them rise, covered, for 45 minutes, until they're quite puffy, though not necessarily doubled in bulk.
  5. Preheat the oven to 425°.
  6. Uncover the loaves, and bake them for about 25 to 27 minutes, until they're golden brown. Remove the loaves from the oven, and transfer them to a rack to cool.
  7. Cool the loaves before slicing. Store, well-wrapped, at room temperature for three days, or freeze for up to three months.

Tips from our Bakers

  • How do you toast walnuts? You can stir them in a dry saucepan (no oil) set over medium heat until they're golden; or toast them in a preheated 350°F oven for 6 to 8 minutes, again until golden.