This bread is not only truly delicious and perfectly versatile, but it is so easy to make in a stand mixer with a bread hook attachment. The dough is made directly in the bowl that goes with the machine! The only other thing that you’ll need is a baking sheet. Totally saves on cleanup.
- 2 1/4 cups wrist-temperature water
- 1 rounded teaspoon active dry yeast (about half a packet)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 4 cups whole-wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups chopped California walnuts
- Extra flour for kneading
- Nonstick spray
- Night before: Measure the water into a large mixing bowl (ideally the bowl of a large stand mixer that has a dough hook attachment). Make sure the water is no warmer than your wrist! (It should feel utterly temperature-neutral to the touch.) Sprinkle in the yeast and wait about a minute. Add the sugar and 2 cups of the flour. Whisk to combine, then cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap, and leave at room temperature for 12 hours or overnight.
- Add the remaining 2 cups of flour and the salt then set up the bowl on mixer stand with dough hook in place. Run the machine at medium-low speed to combine. Continue to run it at medium speed for about five minutes longer. Fold in the 1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts until thoroughly combined. Cover the bowl with the same plastic wrap, and let sit in a warm spot (just a sunny spot on the counter top will do) until doubled in size, between 4 to 6 hours.
- Remove the plastic wrap and punch down the dough. Dump it out onto a floured work surface and knead lightly. Shape into a round ball. Spray lightly with water and set on a baking sheet in a warm place until doubled in size, about 2 hours. Spray occasionally to prevent the surface drying out.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Spray the surface of the bread lightly with water. Bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes. When you tap the base of the loaf it should sound hollow. Allow to cool on a rack for at least 20 to 30 minutes before slicing and enjoying.