Walnut Bread from Southern Burgundy

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.

Yeasted Burgundy Walnut 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.

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  1. MikeW says

    I had already reached for my “Beard on Bread” before clicking through.

    This version has twice the amount of walnut & slightly less onion than Beard’s recipe.

    I haven’t made this in a while. Strong onion can overwhelm the bread’s flavor. Choose a mild onion — also, I’ve liked the results with lightly sauteed onion in this bread.

  2. says

    I have Beard on Bread and that is indeed half the recipe. My notes indicate that I’ve made this and we liked it. I wonder why I forgot about it? It’s probably kid related. When my kids were young they wouldn’t touch things with nuts in them so I probably stopped making it because of that. Thanks for bringing that back to my attention!

  3. says

    Hi Mike,

    Thanks! I don’t have the original version — just the version I picked up on the Internet years ago (which didn’t have a source).

    My version does have more walnuts and onions and that’s how I like it. In fact, sometimes I think I could use a few more walnuts. The onions I use are Texas Sweet and probably fairly mild, so the bread doesn’t seem overwhelming with 1/3 cup. I love your idea of using sauteed onions, though.

    I’ll go ahead and add a note about the original version add-ins.

    Yes, I use twice the amount of walnuts and it still seems like it could use more. As for the onion, I like your idea of

  4. says

    Sue, one of my kid tasters refused to eat it because she didn’t like the texture of cooked onion in bread. Maybe that’s why you stopped making it? Fuzz loved it as is.

  5. says

    So weird, I just bought “Beard on Bread” last night! Tonight I’m making the very first recipe, as it’s the one for which he gives the most explicit directions.

    I finished school in December and suddenly have all this free time and really like to bake in the winter. I’ve decided to concentrate on making bread, as the ingredients are usually cheap and I don’t have the “feel” for making yeast doughs the way I do batters and doughs.

    Anyway, long story short, once I get a little practice in with simple (cheap) loaves, I’ll definitely try your version of the walnut onion bread, as it looks delicious!

  6. says

    I stopped by to thank you for the link to my blog and to wish you a happy New Year. I hope 2011 brings you continued health and happiness. Blessings…Mary

  7. Marv says

    The photo doesn’t look as dark and rich as the loaves I used to purchase at Central Market in Dallas. Sadly, they don’t make SBWB anymore, even for special order. I believe I was told the onions were caramelized. Maybe that was the source of the darker color. It is certainly a delicious bread! I miss it so much.

  8. says

    Marv, if you’re a bread baker you should give this recipe a try. Central Market’s might have been a tad darker, but this one has a similar flavor.

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