The goal: to make a sourdough bread loaded – and I mean loaded – with nuts, a crumb not as open as my usual loaves, to enjoy with an assortment of cheeses, from  French Brie to Italian Gorgonzola, passing by Spain with its awesome Manchego.  My starting point was a recipe from Maggie Glezer’s Artisan Baking, adapted to include whole pistachios, and small pieces of walnuts.  I wanted the pistachios to be the main textural component in the bread, and the walnuts to impart mainly their flavor throughout the crumb.  According to my dear husband, I hit the jackpot with this bread, he absolutely loved it. It reminded us of a bread we used to buy in a street market in Paris on Saturdays, except for the fact that the French version included a lot of sunflower seeds. Now, that’s an interesting idea for a future baking adventure… πŸ˜‰

(from the Bewitching Kitchen)

Levain (you will use only half of it):
1 Tbs firm sourdough starter
45 g  warm water
75 g  bread flour

300 g  bread flour
25 g  rye flour
25 g whole wheat flour
228 g  warm water
8 g salt
80 g walnuts, lightly toasted, in small dice
50 g whole pistachios, roasted

Make the levain by mixing all the ingredients and kneading lightly to form a smooth dough.  Keep at room temperature for about 12 hours (it should at least triple in size).

Make the dough by combining the three types of flour with the water.  Cover and let the mixture rest for 30 minutes. Add the salt and the levain (half of it only!) and knead a few times until it forms a shaggy mass.  Add the nuts and knead briefly to incorporate them.  Let it rest for 30 minutes, knead for about 10-20 seconds, and let the dough rest for another 30 minutes.  Knead (or fold) a few times, and let the dough rest for 1 hour.  Knead (or fold)  a few times, and let it rise undisturbed for 2 hours.

Pre-shape the dough as a round ball, let it rest for 15 minutes, then shape it in its final form, placing it in a banetton or another appropriate, well floured container, with the seam side up.   Cover and let it rise for 3 hours. Invert the dough on parchment paper, slash the surface, place on a baking stone on a 425 F oven, covered for 30 minutes, then uncover and bake for 15 minutes more, until dark brown and the internal temperature is at least 205 F.

Let the loaf cool over a rack  before cutting.


to print the recipe, click here

Comments:  Making this bread was a labor of love, because I shelled the pistachios myself. My finger tips had quite a workout, so next time I will buy shelled pistachios to make life a little easier, and I advise you to do the same. At any rate, this bread is a nut-lover’s paradise.  The pistachios shine like little jewels, and the walnuts become almost sweet during baking.  I could not be happier with it, as it turned out exactly as I hoped.  Plus, it was another  successful performance by our Breville toaster oven!

Who could resist having a second slice?  πŸ˜‰

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  1. I will eat that bread with you with great happiness! What a beauty! I love all things nutty and pistachios being green have fascinated me always, there’s something about them that is irresistable! Yum πŸ˜€


  2. This sounds and looks wonderful! Any recipe that takes you back to Paris must be wonderful. πŸ˜‰ Is it difficult to make a sourdough starter? I’ve read a lot about them, but haven’t tried one yet.


  3. @everybody: thanks for the comments…

    @ChefMom: it’s not difficult to make a sourdough starter, you can check a nice tutorial for it here

    however, you can always buy a starter (King Arthur has a fantastic product:

    I’ve made my own sourdough a little over 2 years ago, and also have the one from King Arthur, use both according to my mood… πŸ˜‰

    If you decide to go for it, and need some help, advice, drop me an email!


    • Back in OK, I keep two starters going – they get out of the fridge in alternating weeks, so that one weekend I bake bread with “Dan” (my homemade), and the following week I bake bread with Arthur (King Arthur’s product)

      When we came to LA, I brought Dan with me and left Arthur frozen at home – so Dan is the only one used in LA, in my visits back to OK I immediately thaw Arthur and put him to use.

      I wanted to get King Arthur’s sourdough because it is a culture that has been going on for 250 years, I thought it would be nice to have it, but to be completely honest, they both behave about the same, I think Dan is slightly more “acidic”, but I haven’t measured the pH. It’s something I could do once I’m back in OK for good.

      I’ve been flirting with the idea of buying the San Francisco sourdough culture before going home, just to bake a few batches with it in Oklahoma, but the thought of keeping three starters going is a bit too much…


    • Dana, I am very partial to sourdough, it’s my favorite type of bread. There’s something about the texture and the taste that is very appealing to me, and in a certain way, once you get the hang of keeping the culture going, the bread making is not labor-intensive at all… I never knead the bread for longer than 10-20 seconds at a time, and there’s always a lot of flexibility in how many hours you can leave it unattended before baking. Even though it seems like a very involved activity, it’s pretty easy…


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