If you’ve ever tried Central Market’s Burgundy Walnut Bread and though it might be nice to make it at home, you’re in luck. This recipe, if not identical to Central Market’s, is very close. With flavor coming from the onions, walnuts and walnut oil, it’s a step up from typical nut or onion bread.
While I’ve been making this recipe for years, I never knew the source. Recently, Mary posted it and said it was from “Beard on Bread” where it’s credited to Jane Grigson. On her blog, One Perfect Bite, Mary makes the full batch, but I usually halve it and make two small loaves.
One thing I’ve learned over the years is the flavor will vary a bit depending on what brand of walnut oil you use. I love using the stronger walnut oils such as La Tourangelle, but for this batch I used what was available at the grocery store, the milder flavored Spectrum, which still worked well. If you don’t want to spend the money on walnut oil, no worries. You can use olive oil or butter. Also, the bread is slightly salty – not so salty that you’d want to cut the salt in half, but you might want to use it judiciously. Mary says she uses a scant tablespoon for the full batch, so for the half batch I recommend using a scant 1 1/2 teaspoon.
Walnut Bread from Southern Burgundy
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour or bread flour (11.5 oz)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt (scant)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 package active dry yeast or 2-1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 cup warm milk
1/4 cup walnut oil or olive oil or 4 tablespoons butter, melted but cool
1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped — use more if you like
1/3 cup onion, finely chopped
Combine flour, salt, and sugar into a mixing bowl.
Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup of warm milk, and pour it into middle of the flour, together with walnut oil (or butter) and remainder of milk. Knead well until dough is firm and blended into a smooth, springy ball, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl lined with walnut oil (or whatever oil you like), cover and let rise for 2 hours.
Punch down dough, mix in walnuts and onions, shape into two rounds, and leave on a greased baking tray to rise for 45 minutes. Bake at 400 degrees F for 45 minutes or until loaves sound hollow when tapped underneath.
Yield: 2 small loaves
Note: Original version uses less walnuts and onions, but I like using a full 1/2 cup (or 1 cup for full recipe) of walnuts. If using 1/3 cup onion, make sure it’s a mild onion. If using a strong onion or one that’s very fresh, you might want to use less.