The Wolfgang and I

The Wolfgang and I

This, my friends, is a story about bread.

I’m sure you can imagine my fascination with this culinary staple. It can be the simplest of concoctions encompassing only flour and water, or it can be something much much more. An addiction so strong that no matter how determined you are to avoid excessive weight gain you cannot resist the siren call of glucose-induced ecstasy that is bread.

“I can avoid eating carbs if I wish, but to give up bread entirely, that is a rare gift.”

Well put Aragorn, well put. Now onward! Today’s recipe, my official initiation into the breadmaking world, is a hearty, nutty, texture rich vessel for carrying peanut butter, regular butter, jelly, jam, hummus, cream cheese, nutella. Dare I utter the sinful word again? Nutella….

And seriously, the combinations for bread are endless! Banana bread, blueberry muffins, corn bread, challah bread, bread bread bread bread ahhhhhhhhhh!

Wolfgang Puck, renowned celebrity chef and the winner of the “who wants to name their first child after me” gameshow that I just imagined (seriously, step aside Simon Cowell) created this particular loaf of bread. Here’s the treasure map, destination: deliciousness.

1 1/3packages (1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon) active dry yeast
3cups lukewarm water
1 tablespoon honey
5 cups all-purpose flour
3 cups rye flour
4.5 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary or thyme leaves, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
7 tablespoons (3 1/2 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
1.5 cups chopped walnuts
1.5 cups chopped pecans

Instructions for Pecan and Walnut Bread Recipe

Dissolve the yeast in 1/2 cup of lukewarm water.
Place the remaining water, the honey, both flours, the salt, rosemary or thyme, and butter in a mixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix for about 5 minutes. Add the dissolved yeast and continue to knead in the mixer for about 10 minutes. Add the walnuts and pecans and continue to knead until the nuts are thoroughly combined. The dough should come together neatly in a ball.
Cover the mixing bowl with a damp towel and let the dough rise in a warm place for about 45 minutes at room temperature, or until it approximately doubles in volume.
Knead the dough briefly by hand to remove an air pockets.
Butter and flour three 9 by 5-inch loaf pans. Divide the dough in three parts, shape each into a 9-inch cylinder and place them in prepared pans. Let the loaves rise in the pans for about an hour, or until they at least double in volume.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F
Bake the loaves for about 20 minutes, or until they are nicely browned, then reduce the heat to 325 degrees F and continue baking for another 25 minutes. Remove from pans and let cool.

Note: Makes three 9-inch loaves

I didn’t have any pecans, so doubled up on the walnuts. I also added dried blueberries, TASTY LIFE!

I couldn’t contain my gasp and look of astonishment when I saw how much the bread had risen.

We only have two bread pans, so I braided one loaf and fashioned it into a little ring, adorable, though a bit more difficult to slice. It was that or fashion it into a dinosaur! Perhaps I made the wrong choice? These loaves came out GORGEOUS! I was seriously in love when the nutty aroma began to waft from the oven to where I sat. I think I could really get into baking bread in the morning, there’s not much else to do at 6:30am! And it was so easy! Can’t wait to try more of Mr. Puck’s recipes!

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