Friday, January 3, 2014

pecan wheat bread

I really think I could be perfectly happy spending day after day just experimenting with different bread recipes.  Call it weird, but I can't tell you the excitement that builds when I'm getting ready to give a new one a try.  And the excitement goes overboard when the trial results in a great success.  This recipe was just that!

A couple of months before Christmas rolls around, I begin to think about what goodies from our kitchen I'll be sharing with loved ones.  Loaves of bread are always at the top of the list, and I usually have to narrow down favorites to finally decide on one.  After baking a few of these tasty loaves, and loving the unique flavor of the featured pecans, I definitely knew this one was the one.  AND, I knew it would pair beautifully with the homemade butter I made for the give-aways as well (Pumpkin Maple Swirl Butter, to be exact... I'll be sharing that with you next).  

Although this makes a great sandwich bread, especially for chicken salad, I think I've enjoyed making toast with it more than anything.  When you do so, the pecans get toasted and the flavor is deepened immensely.  If you are a fan of nutty, chewy yeasted breads, you will love this. It will make one 9x5 loaf or three good-sized mini loaves ~ just perfect for gift-giving.  

Happy New Year!

Pecan Yeast Bread
makes one 9x5 loaf
  • 1 cup plus 2 tbsp warm water (approximately 110 degrees)
  • 3 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 2 tsp instant yeast
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup diced pecans
~ Pour water into stand mixer and add sugar, stirring until dissolved.  Add yeast and stir.

~ Let mixture stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.

~ Add butter and salt and stir.

~ In separate bowl, whisk flours together.  

~ Place dough hook on mixer and gradually add flours to water mixture, scraping the bowl 
    periodically.  Continue to mix until smooth dough is formed, or remove dough and knead
    by hand about 10 minutes.

~ Place dough in greased pan/pans, cover and let rise in warm place until about one inch 
    above pan, approximately one hour.  

~ Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place uncovered dough in oven and bake 35 to 45 minutes, 
    or until loaf reaches 190 degrees.  Remove from oven and turn out on cooling rack.  

Recipe from King Arthur Flour.