Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Apple Walnut Bread

This weekend I decided that the weather had cooled down enough that I could start baking bread again without driving my roommates crazy with 500 degree ovens. I pulled my starter from the fridge, where it had laid much neglected over the summer, and ramped it up with frequent feedings from last Friday until Tuesday, when I deemed it ready to use (more out of impatience than actual evidence from the starter). It took a bit longer than I expected, but I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised since I used it so little (no feedings at all in fact for 2 months!).

I had been eying two recipes from the Wild Yeast Blog for a couple of weeks because they seemed like the perfect breads for saying “Hello Fall!” I didn’t have everything to make either bread, but I did have walnuts so I opted for the Apple Walnut Sourdough instead the Apple Cider Sour Rye, which I may have to make next weekend.

With my starter ready to go, I did a final feed Tuesday morning and then set to making the bread Tuesday in the early evening. I halved the recipe to make one loaf and altered some of the ingredients. I didn’t have buckwheat flour, cider, or dried apples. I did have fresh apples though and rye.

Here's the recipe I ended up following looked like:




Flour (KABF)



Rye flour












Apples (fresh)






I followed Susan's directions, aside from rehydrating the apples. I was mixing everything by hand, which was tricky. Using fresh apples made the dough very wet and sticky and I began to wish that I had chopped them smaller. I had hoped for the bread to be finished by dinner, but I didn't end up pulling it out of the oven until 11pm. I probably should have let it rise even longer; Susan's directions call for a total of about 5 hours fermentation/rising time, but I suspect her starter was a bit more active than mine and that the dough wasn't as weighed down by the heavy apples.

I also wasn't quite as good at the apple stencil and ended up over-flouring the surface. Nonetheless, I think it turned out quite good! I cut into it today and made a delicious sandwich (post to follow). I had been worried that the crumb would be too dense/that it hadn't risen enough, but when I cut into it I was surprised to find that the crumb was just fine! This was also the first time I had used such large chunks of nuts in a bread and was worried about them being hard, thus making the bread difficult to bite into, but my fears were unfounded!

All in all, this was a delicious bread, perfect for a fall afternoon. Just what I was hoping for. Another excellent recipe from Wild Yeast!

Upon request, I'm submitting this post to Yeast Spotting over at the Wild Yeast blog!


Susan/Wild Yeast said...

It's hard to believe apple season is upon us again, but it is, and this is indeed a wonderful fall bread. It looks beautiful, and I'll bet the fresh apples were great!

Amy said...

All I can say is Wow! You are an amazing baker. Ok, so I may be a bit biased since I'm your mom, but I really amazed at the things you're creating in your kitchen.

Mimi said...

Great job adapting the recipe. I wanted to make this one as soon as I saw it too, but I didn't think of making the substitutions you did. (I don't keep buckwheat flour or dried apples in the house either) I may have to get into the kitchen and whip up a loaf!

Joe said...

Thanks for the comments everyone!

Susan-The fresh apples were really great, but the definitely weighed the dough down quite a bit. I'd like to try it again with dried fruit.

Mimi- I'm always adapting because I don't often plan ahead and make sure I have the right ingredients on hand. Sometimes that's a disaster, but this time it worked out okay. You should definitely give this recipe a try!

Mom- It's okay if you're biased, especially since I learned how to cook from watching you :D

Stefanie said...

Another great bread for autumn - I like the idea of using fresh apple in combination with walnuts, even if it makes the dough sticky.

Elle said...

Love the apple stencil and your let's go for it attitude. Bread is far more forgiving than most people realize and yours looks great! Bet it makes yummy toast with the apples and walnuts.