BBBuddybadgemarch2016Every once in a while I see a recipe and get “the itch.”  It will not leave my mind until I make it. Not only I catch myself thinking about it in the middle of the day, but I often dream about it. In my dreams, I might gather the ingredients and jump into action, or sometimes get into an almost nightmare mode in which I cannot read the ingredients or find them in my pantry. The mind works in odd ways. I have no idea why some recipes do this to me, but the most recent example was the Auberge Walnut Bread blogged by Karen, as part of the Bread Baking Babes group. It is a fun virtual event, also happens monthly as The Secret Recipe Club, but in this case a member of the group picks one bread recipe and everyone makes it. This month’s bread was chosen by  Elizabeth, hostess of From OUR Kitchen.  I highly recommend you stop by and indulge in her blog. She is hilariously witty, and keeps a wonderful site!  Back to BBB, I have thought about joining the group because c’mon, who would not like to be a “Babe?” However, I don’t think I can handle another monthly commitment. Instead, I watch them from a safe distance and marvel at all the breads they bake.  Until  now, that is.  When I saw Karen’s post, I got the itch, and because it is a bread that doesn’t require a sourdough starter, I made it right away. You should too. You won’t need to knead it by hand, you won’t need to fold it, baby it, watch it, nothing. It is one of the easiest bread recipes to tackle, and the result will blow your mind: a soft, moist, flavorful crumb, with a darker color than you would expect from a bread made only with white flour. Smells amazing as it bakes, tastes amazing with anything you’d like to pair it with.  But I advise a little blue cheese.  To quote Karen

Oh Em Gee…  😉

Auberge Pecan Walnut Bread

(slightly modified from Karen’s Kitchen Stories)

120 grams pecan pieces
50 grams walnut pieces
7 grams (one package) active dry yeast
85 grams (1/4 cup) honey (I used acacia)
320 grams (1 + 1/3 cups) warm water
30 grams (2 tablespoons) olive oil
500 grams (3 + 3/4 cups) bread flour
7.5 grams (1 + 1/2 tsp fine sea salt)
Heat the oven to 400 F. Spread the pecan and walnut pieces in a baking sheet and toast them in the oven for about 7 minutes. Let them cool. Pulse them in a food processor until you have both crumbs and medium pieces.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the yeast, honey, and warm water. Stir and let stand for about 10 minutes. Add the olive oil, flour, sea salt, and walnut pieces. Stir with a dough whisk or wooden spoon until the ingredients are combined. Knead with the dough hook for about 5 minutes, until the dough is fairly smooth. Place the dough into an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled, about 75 minutes.
Lightly flour your work surface and turn the dough out without deflating it.  Shape the dough into a ball and place in a floured banneton for the final rise. Cover with oiled plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, about 60 minutes.  While it rises, heat the oven, with a baking stone (if you have one) on the middle rack, to 400 degrees F.  When the dough has doubled, invert it on a sheet of parchment paper, slash the surface with a razor blade and quickly place it over the baking stone.  Use your favorite method to generate steam (I invert the lid of a Dutch oven slightly moist and bake the bread covered for about 20 minutes). Bake at 400 F for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and bake for an additional 40 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack.
to print the recipe, click here

As you know, I love sourdough baking, but there’s something wonderful about having a loaf of bread cooling less than 3 hours after gathering the flour.  In fact, the dough was quite fast to rise, it did not need 75 minutes for the bulk fermentation, in 65 min it was more than doubled, so I shaped it. And instead of allowing a full hour for the final rise, I decided it was good and ready at the 50 min mark.  I toasted the nuts the evening before, and added them to the food processor right before mixing the dough. Easy as pie, except for the fact that the goal was to make a walnut bread and it turned into a pecan bread with a hint of walnuts.  It is my personal saga, a perverse Flour-Vinegar-Nut trilogy. When it comes to those items, I am always stumped by the difference between what “I think I have”, and what “I do have” in the pantry.  But, I can tell you that pecans worked very well, and the bread tasted terrific! Very moist, I am sure it would have lasted for several days at room temperature, but since it’s just the two of us, on the second day it was sliced and frozen for   future enjoyment.

Auberge Pecan Walnut Bread2

Elizabeth, it was great to “meet” you! Looking forward to following your adventures… And of course, Karen, you never cease to inspire me with your bread baking and cooking in general… Nice to have one more recipe from your site showcased in the Bewitching Kitchen…




  1. Oh Em Gee (I had to say that). This bread looks amazing and you put a GIANT smile on my face. We too resorted to the freezer to preserve this bread. It freezes very well, btw. You really made my day. I hope you emailed Elizabeth so that she will feature in a babe round up!


  2. That look s amazing, especially the crust. I don’t make much bread, but I am filing this recipe away to make – and I am a big pecan nut fan, so I will err on the side of more pecans. Thanks for sharing. margaret


    • I am not a fan of pecans either, but I must say they did not bother me in this bread – however, go for walnuts like the original bread… check your pantry, don’t do as “certain bakers” do 😉


  3. What a great loaf!!! I love the pecans and walnuts in it…I did however misread the title initially…when I opened my email inbox and saw it I thought it said ‘aubergine pecan walnut bread’!!!!!!!!! As you can imagine, I was beyond intrigued! 😳😳😳😳


  4. Pecans AND walnuts. Oh Em Gee, indeed! Your bread looks fabulous, Sally! The crumb looks wonderful.

    And you’re right, it’s delicious with cheese. Last night, we finally broke out a wonderfully stinky (but not tooooo stinky cheese) to try with the walnut bread. Wow, it sure was good!

    (Please excuse if this is a duplicate comment… I’m challenged with the WP logins.)


  5. As you know, Sally, there’s much to be said about a slice of bread with a good, light crumb. 2 slices will elevate any sandwich. On the other hand, there are times when only a heartier bread, slathered in butter, will do. I hope I’ve got a loaf of this bread on-hand when one of those times returns. It sounds and looks very good!


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