Chestnut-Walnut Bread

A small amount of chestnut flour is mixed with bread flour for this rustic loaf with walnuts. The finely textured bread pairs well with cheese, and toasting slices releases the full nutty flavor of chestnuts. 

  • 2 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1/4  cup chestnut flour
  • 3 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups warm water
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped walnuts
  • 1 egg white

In bowl of mixer, sift together flours, yeast and salt. Using paddle attachment, mix lightly to blend.  Add butter, and approximately 1 cup water. Mix on low speed until dough just comes together, adding more water as needed. Dough will look a bit rough or shaggy at this point. Add walnuts and mix to incorporate.

If using a stand mixer, switch to dough hook and knead about 7-8 minutes, or turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead by hand about 10 minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic.

Place dough in lightly oiled bowl, cover and let rise until doubled in size, about 1-1/2 to 2 hours.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll out into a large rectangle. Starting at top of rectangle, fold 1/3 of dough down to center line. Fold bottom third up on top of first fold. Flip dough over and tuck end under to form a rounded oval shape. Transfer dough a to sheet pan dusted with cornmeal. Cover with towel and let rise about 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  With a razor blade, sharp knife or bread lame, cut two or three slits in top of dough, using a quick slashing motion to avoid dragging blade over surface. Bake on center rack of oven for 30 minutes. At 15 minute mark, brush entire surface of loaf with egg white beaten with a little water, to give bread a shiny crust.  To test doneness, turn loaf over and rap the bottom. It should have a hollow sound.

Cool completely before slicing. Wrap well to store. Bread keeps about two days, but it’s also great toasted.