May. It used to be one of my favorite months. That was when I was a teacher. For May is the last month of school in Arizona. No matter how much you loved your teaching job, every teacher by this time was more than ready for the Summer to start. So now that I don’t teach school anymore, May simply means Summer is coming…and well if you are new to my blog and didn’t read last Summer you don’t know…I hate Summer. I am a Fall/Winter gal through and through. I don’t crave the warmth, the bugs, the crowds of people mass exiting on the highway each Friday and most importantly the food(I am allergic to a lot of Summer produce). As I flipped the calender page over I let out a sad little sigh, knowing that I will have to wait around until September for my beloved Fall to come. I rarely bake bread in the Summer. Though our Summer in the Pacific North West are very mild compared to Arizona, we don’t have air conditioning(most residential places don’t) and so it can become quite unpleasant.
So during my time of stress(it is getting much better…one of our big bumps got smoothed out!) and still decent weather I decided I better get some yeast bread in while I can. This recipe comes from a local bakery that I have written about before. If you love to bake, you should really own this cookbook. I came across this bread and thought it sounded great. I am one of those people who feels their bread should have something to it(Sourdough aside). If I am buying bread it is usually Ezekiel bread with 7 grains…stuff you really have to chew…you know you are chewing bread and not a ball of gummy dough(exception is Thanksgiving turkey sandwich must be on white). This bread brought true happiness to my mouth and sadness to my heart. I realized that now that I am in love with this bread, Summer was coming and I would not be getting to bake it 🙁 . It has become my standard sandwich bread around here(well for me…picky hubby wont eat it). So be careful if you bake this bread…you might become additcted and then not be able to bake it because it is too hot in your home.
Cracked Wheat Walnut Cider Loaf
Makes 1(9 x 5-inch) loaf
¾ cup cracked wheat
1 cup boiling water
1 ½ cups walnuts chopped, toasted
1 ¼ cups apple cider
1 ½ tsp dried yeast
2 TBSP honey
1 cup plus 1 TBSP coarse whole-wheat flour
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp salt
½ cup canola oil
Place cracked wheat in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Stir with a spoon and let sit for 10 minutes to let liquid get absorbed.
Place apple cider in a medium saucepan and warm over low heat, just until it is warm to the touch. Pour warm cider into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add yeast and honey and mix with a whisk until yeast has dissolved. Let mixture stand for 5 minutes. Add plumped cracked wheat, 1 cup whole wheat flour, all purpose flour, salt and canola oil. Using the hook attachment, mix on low speed for 1 minutes to combine ingredients. Switch to a medium speed and mix for 10 minutes. Dough will form a loose ball at the base of the hook. Add walnuts and mix for 2 minutes.
Transfer dough to an oiled, medium bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let proof in a warm room, 70-75F, for 2 hours. Dough will almost double in size.
Pull dough from the bowl onto a flour surface and punch it down with your hands to release the air bubbles. Form dough into a 12 x 6 inch rectangle and position it so that a long side is facing you. Fold the 2 short ends onto the top so they meet in the middle. Starting with the closest end, roll dough away from you into a tight log.
Place loaf in an oiled 9 x 5 x 4-inch loaf pan and cover with plastic wrap. Let proof at room temperature for 1 hour. Loaf will rise to slightly above the top of pan.
While loaf is proofing, preheat oven to 385F.
Remove plastic and dust top of loaf with remaining TBSP of whole wheat flour. Place pan in center rack of oven and bake for approximately 50 minutes. Finished loaf will be medium brown on top. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes, then run a sharp knife around the sides of the loaf to release it from the pan. Invert pan to remove loaf.
Source: Adapted from Macrina Bakery and Cafe Cookbook by Leslie Mackie with Andrew Cleary, 2003
It is recipes like this that make me wish I was better at making bread. Maybe one day, when I finally get a stand mixer, I will have the patience to make beautiful loaves like this!
What a fabulous-lookng bread! I’m just starting to get back into baking bread, and will add this to the list to try. Thanks for the recipe.
Yum! This looks fabulous. I could eat the whole thing. And, May for me? 17 days left of the school year – woohoo!
This is bread … I mean real bread. My kind of bread! Really beautiful bread Peabody!
Oooh, my god! Talk about HOT – the fluffiness of the bread is super well captured in the photos! Mmm, looks delicious!
I’m not a summer girl either — so what the heck am I doing in socal? And I get the whole hot oven thing. Hmmm…bread baking on the Barbie? This recipe looks great — especially the nuts. I can just imagine it toasted.
Peabody – it seriously is more lovely and delicious looking than any bakery or store-bought bread I have ever seen.
In summer in AZ you are right, no baking. More like salads, drinks, A/C, the pool and trips to the beach!! 🙂
Graduation is next Friday – YAY!!!!!!
p.s. I LOVE hot weather!! I get depressed when the sun sets too soon! 🙂
I am a summer girl through and through and cannot wait till Spring and Summer come knocking on my door. There is so much color and vibrancy all around. But I still think we share a few common things – like the love of interesting breads. Being in Germany I just never get around to doing bread making myself. Our baker has so much to offer and each one tastes better than the next. I love the look and texture of this bread. WOW!
I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a pretty wheat bread before! 😀
Peabody, you know we went over how the two of us love the fall. I am a redhead with freckles, not only do I burn at the drop of a hat in the sun, but I also have a slight allergy to the sun. So I despise summer for the most part, except for barbecue food. I do have air conditioning, a must in NJ, but will definitely lessen my baking to maybe at night so it doesn’t make the house too hot and make the ac work too hard.
This bread is lovely. I love to see all the delicious little pieces in it. I am with you on the boringness of white bread. I only like it for PB&J
What a terrific slice of bread-it looks as though it would freeze well, also…..great photo,too!
oh god why cant i bake like that …sob sob…sob…still sob..!This loaf looks amazinG.gR8 textures and colour.I envy u.
That looks delicious! If I ever get up the courage to try making bread again, I will try this for sure.
Hi Pea! Always great to see a bread with substance! The combination of cracked wheat and walnuts sound wonderful!
Beautiful photos Peabody! And sorry about your May-loathing. I am studying in school to be a teacher so I love may at the moment. On another note, I tried your Snickerdoodle/Refund Muffins and they were fab. I have a mind to go tell that guy to shove it, and that he really CAN’T bake if he messed those up!
I’m with you on the hate summer thing. Lucky me, I got to drive up to Seattle last summer, up super hot I-5 no less, and stay in unairconditioned apartment during the heat spell in July…remember that? Didn’t know you then or I would have taken you to lunch in an airconditioned place (if there is such an animal).
Come visit me in the summer…we have fog that cools things down a lot.
Anyhoo, the bread looks great and is just the kind I like to bake with lots of heft. As usual, awesome photos.
I hate summer too…I am not allowed a tan nd I really don’t like the humidity we have here, it’s like having a constant pounding ceiling on your head. I love fall/winter and I love that bread! Great texture, I bet it was great fresh and toasted.
I love that this has apple cider and walnuts, sounds delicious!
Your bread looks great! I’m in Seattle too and I like that the summer is relatively mild. I still can’t stand when it gets over 80 degrees and I HATE the bugs. I don’t bake much in the summer either because my house becomes a greenhouse in the summertime.
I am really intriqued by the apple cider! Must try this, it has a beautiful crumb.
I love your series of bread, especially this walnut one! One of my favorite types of bread!
How about using a bread maker in the summer? It’s a great way to have fresh bread and not heat up your house. I love my little 1 lb. Zojirushi machine.
OMG! I would die without the summer. I moved to SoCal from MA just for the warmer weather. I’m still thinking about moving again to even warmer, more tropical weather. Give me heat and humidity and I’m in heaven.
The summer doesn’t usually stop my baking, I just shift it to the evening or early mornings.