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Nancy Silverton's Walnut Bread

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Anonymous (not verified)

Nancy Silverton's Walnut Bread

Nancy Silverton's Walnut Bread is one of my favorite breads.

It takes 3 days to make it, but it's worth the effort.

Here it is in BBGA format, but first let me anticipate 2 questions:

  • Why did you include a build process for the white starter? Doesn't it just call for 170 g of white starter?
  • Yes, but Nancy's white starter is 145% hydration white starter. If you want to build this bread verbatim, you need 145% white starter. This is how to build 170 g of it in a 3-build process.
  • Can I use 170 g of my 100% hydration white starter (and skip the 3-build process)?
  • Yes. I've done so before without problem. Skip the 3-build stages and go directly to the sponge stage, where you'll use 170 g of your starter to build the sponge.

Enjoy!

FORMULA.

Click spreadsheet for larger version.

PROCEDURE.

SOURDOUGH BUILD 1

  • Seed Culture - 25 g
  • Flour, Bread - 9 g
  • Water - 12 g

- Mix and ripen for about 3-4 hours.

SOURDOUGH BUILD 2

  • All of SOURDOUGH BUILD 1 - 47 g
  • Flour, Bread - 17 g
  • Water - 25 g

- Mix and ripen for about 3-4 hours.

SOURDOUGH BUILD 3

  • All of SOURDOUGH BUILD 2 - 89 g
  • Flour, Bread - 33 g
  • Water - 48 g

- Mix and ripen for about 3-4 hours.

SPONGE

  • All of SOURDOUGH BUILD 3 - 170 g
  • Flour, Whole Wheat - 230 g
  • Flour, Dark Rye - 100 g
  • Milk - 30 g
  • Water - 400 g
  • Salt - 2 g
  • Barley Malt Syrup - 20 g

- Mix all ingredients and ripen at room temperature for 5 hours.
- Cover and refrigerate for 8 to 12 hours.

FINAL DOUGH

  • All of SPONGE, 952 g
  • Flour, Bread, 624 g
  • Water, 170 g
  • Salt, 20 g
  • Walnuts, 400 g
  • Sugar, Granulated, 4 g
  • Oil, Walnut, 30 g

- Preheat oven to 350 F (177 C).
- Roast walnuts for 10 to 13 minutes. Set aside to cool.

If mixing with a stand mixer:

- Mix water, sponge, sugar and flour (with the dough hook) on low for 4 minutes.
- Dough will be wet and shaggy and will not clear the sides of the bowl.
- Cover and rest 20 minutes.
- Add salt and mix on medium for 5 minutes.
- Add walnut oil.
- Mix on low for 2 minutes or to an internal temperature of 65 F (18 C).
- Add the roasted walnuts and mix on low until incorporated, about 2 minutes more.
- Remove the dough from the bowl and knead by hand for a few minutes.
- Lightly oil a bowl.
- Form the dough into a boule, place in oiled bowl, cover tightly, and refrigerate for 8 to 12 hours.

If mixing by hand:

- Mix water, sponge, sugar and flour in a large bowl and mix by hand (with a large spoon) until all ingredients are combined.
- Dough will be wet and shaggy and will not clear the sides of the bowl.
- Cover and rest 20 minutes.
- Add salt.
- Knead by hand for 1 minute. Rest for 10. (Wet hands if dough is too sticky).
- Knead by hand for 1 minute. Rest for 10.
- Knead by hand for 1 minute. Rest for 10.
- Add walnut oil.
- Mix until dough reaches an internal temperature of 65 F (18 C) and/or is fully developed. Dough will be tacky, but not sticky.
- Add roasted walnuts and mix until fully incorporated.
- Remove dough from bowl and knead by hand for a few minutes more.
- Lightly oil a bowl.
- Form dough into a boule, place in oiled bowl, cover tightly, and refrigerate for 8 to 12 hours.

- Remove dough from refrigerator. It should have doubled in size. If not, cover dough and leave it at room temperature until it has.

- Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface.
- Cut into two equal-sized pieces (~1100 grams each).
- Form each into a rough boule and rest for 15 minutes.

- Form each into a tight boule.
- Place each boule, smooth side down, into floured proofing baskets.
- Sprinkle each with flour.
- Cover and proof until it's 1.5x its original size (or to an internal temperature of 62 F (17 C)), about 2.5 hours.

- Preheat oven to 500 F 1 hour before baking.
- Use SylviaH's Steaming Method to steam the oven.

- When loaves are fully proofed, lightly dust them with flour and carefully flip them onto a baker's peel.
- Score with a sharp razor or baker's lame in a reverse 'C' pattern about 1/2 inch deep (13 millimeters) deep.

- Place loaves in oven.
- Reduce oven temperature to 450 F (232 C).
- Check loaves after 20 minutes. If baking unevenly, rotate. Remove steam pans.
- Continue baking for 20 to 25 minutes more, for a total of 40 to 45 minutes.
- Remove loaves and cool on wire rack.
- Crust should be nut brown, with a nut brown interior.

IMAGES.

(These photos are from a 2010 bake. I may have posted a few of these before. Sorry if I did!).

FILES.

  1. The formula in an Excel 2007 spreadsheet. (File can be opened with Google Docs, Open Office, etc.).
  2. The formula in a PDF file.

SOURCE.

  1. Modified formula and procedure. Silverton, Nancy, and Laurie Ochoa. Breads from the La Brea Bakery: Recipes for the Connoisseur. New York: Villard, 1996. p. 75-79. Print.
  2. Formula format. The Bread Baker's Guild of America. Formula Formatting.
  3. Steaming method. SylviaH's Oven Steaming - My New Favorite Way.

Comments

gmabaking's picture
gmabaking

Can almost smell the toasted walnuts ! Haven't tried this one but everything else from her book that I've baked so far has become great favorites. Just feeding third time on starter to make the Raisin Brioche, first time for a three day bread.

On the cover of my book there are two baskets, one with bagels and the one on the left holding some interesting looking twists. Would you happen to know what they are?

Thanks,

Barbra

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

I scoured the book and can't find any reference to that bread in the whole book. My best guess is that it's a ficelle, maybe shaped as a helix?

Haven't tried the raisin brioche yet. Let me know how it turns out.

The only bread that I've made from this book that didn't impress me was the Chocolate Cherry. Neither the chocolate nor the cherry comes through, although I could probably bring it up to par with more of both.

gmabaking's picture
gmabaking

I (mostly) followed the steps for making the Italian Bread Sticks. It was the fold over that puzzled me but a simple one to accomplish as it turned out. Just rolled the dough into about a 16 x 20 rectangle and folded it over after lightly spreading with herb butter and a sprinkle of grated Parmesan  Then I spread out a rectangle of Italian seasoned Panko that I made out of some croutons from the freezer. I was surprised that I could just flip the whole thing over onto the bread crumbs. A gentle rolling put it back into shape and worked to press the crumbs into one side. I sprinkled more crumbs on top, cut them in strips and then gently made them into helix shape. The crumbs achieved that bumpy look sort of like the picture. They were crispy but still not hard in texture. All in all it was a fun project and my favorite taster pronounced them better than what you get in a restaurant.  Still curious as to what is really on the cover though.

Barbra

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

It looks almost as light as a donut, like a cinnamon-sugar twist. Probably not, though. Why put that on the cover?

I thought it might be the breadsticks too, but the shaping instructions didn't sound right.

I'll see if she's (Nancy Silverton) on Twitter (doubt it) and ask her.

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

I love the way they look all lumpy with the walnuts before baking.  I love walnuts in bread.  They really add a goodness.  

I got a little dizzy at the heights 'really'..such good photos..all is very nicely done..and btw thank you for the reference.

Sylvia

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

She took one look at the lumpy ones and said, "If it had eight legs, it would look like a pregnant spider's belly full of baby spiders!" Leave it to her to turn any picture into something from a Stephen King novel.

I gave someone my neon orange 4 gallon garden sprayer last week. Don't use it anymore now that I use your steaming method, and I don't miss it one bit. Was always steaming my eyebrows off with it.

-

I miss that apartment. Was 8 floors up. I could see the Rocky Mountains to the west and listen to the ball game at Coor's Field from my balcony.

FlourChild's picture
FlourChild

So happy to see beautiful bread come out of Silverton's book.  I also love the look of the lumpy little shaped boules, can bread be cute?

Thanks for working out the builds to create the 145% starter!

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

I'm finally getting some use out of those caffeine-fueled 145% hydration Silverton spreadsheets.

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/28673/calculation-table-nancy-silvertons-145-white-starter

louie brown's picture
louie brown

and the best walnut bread I've ever had, with a deep, rich flavor and a very long finish. I make mine with 100% starter with no problems. I also toast the walnuts. These loaves yield a crumb with nicely distributed, clearly defined air pockets, but without the large uneven holes that would not work in this bread. Great with cheese.

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

I remember the first time I tried a piece. I had to sit down after biting into it. (And then proceeded to hoover the whole loaf.) It was that good.

She doesn't say, but I think this recipe is actually Steve Sullivan's (when he worked at La Brea?). Provenance besides, it's worth the effort to make it.

What kind of cheese do you like with it? I like a strong blue cheese + some honey.

louie brown's picture
louie brown

The French Laundry that his walnut bread wasn't even close to mine or Nancy Silverton's. He was not amused, but I was right.

I like it with goat cheese, or a nice semisoft cheese like fontina or chaume that adds its own flavor. I agree the blue cheeses are delicious with it as well.

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

That's funny. I can almost see it now.

Reminds me of when I corrected a French waiter who called a crawfish a "river shrimp".

Me. "A river shrimp? That's a crawfish."

Him in heavy French-accented English. "Is not a crrrrrawfish! What is CRRRRAWFISH? Stuuupeeed."

I think he put Windex in my soup.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

have thought you would have made one into a Chacon!  Very nice bread anyway!  You did Nancy proud.  Nancy's bread is usually very good.  So where are the crumb shots?  It's like seeing half a loaf without the crumb :-)  Sure like the scoring and the crust.  Nice baking Mr. Chacon.

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

Those shots are from a 2010 bake. I wasn't thinking about their future use on ze' blog. Would have taken crumb shots elsewise.

I am currently without camera (or GPS or wallet or passenger side car window) thanks to yet another theft. Insurance company is more of a thief than the person who stole everything, so will be without one for a while.

I'll have a Chacon for you shortly (say 2015 or so).

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

that thieves have stolen from you again.  At least the Insurance  Co. will  try to help you rather steal from you.    We hate thieves around here and would shoot them when cornered.

gmabaking's picture
gmabaking

I am in the midst of the three day Silerton's Raisin Brioche  The step at 8 1/2 hours ago was to place dough in refrigerator for 12-24 hours. Note says it should have doubled and if not, let it sit on counter for another hour or so. Then shape and proof another 5 hours in the pans.

I just checked and my dough has doubled, poking it leaves the indentation....What to do now? Should I deflate it and let it rise again overnight and continue with the directions? Or consider that the 8 1/2 hours is close enough to the 12 and just continue with the recipe?

Advice is really appreciated and thank you in advance

Yerffej's picture
Yerffej

If it is in an environment of about 40 °F or lower,  it will be just fine until the 12 hour mark without any further manipulation like deflating the dough.  Or you can go forth now,  either way will work.

Jeff

gmabaking's picture
gmabaking

It is almost 6 pm so if I get it to the pans and do the 5 hours in the pans, I can still get it in the oven by midnight or so. Think I will do that rather than leaving it cooling until morning which is what I had planned. I really appreciate you quick response.

Barbra

gmabaking's picture
gmabaking

That would be me! I took the dough out, divided it and left it to rest. It just seems too solid to be really ready. So I packed it all back up and put it back into the refrigerator after about 10 minutes of stewing about it.  The refrigerator is set at 37 degrees so hopefully it will have a nice overnight rest and be ready in the morning. That will make about 17 hours total time which is within Silverton's 12-24.

Barbra

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

.

 

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

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thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

(Website is not allowing me to respond below your question. This response is for: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/29369/nancy-silvertons-walnut-bread#comment-222977)

Sorry I didn't get to your question in time, Barbara, but Jeff covered for me. Thank you, Jeff.

Most of her recipes call for similarly long retardations. The doughs double in the first 4-6 hours and then stop (assuming the temp is below 41 F). You don't have to advance the process if the dough doubles before the recommended retardation time as long as temp. is 41 F or below.

I've kept some her doughs for 48+ hours and they work just fine, even if they lose some form and lightness from the overly long protease activity.

gmagmabaking2's picture
gmagmabaking2

I am posting for my sister Barbra... with pictures! 

                                                           

Thank you both for helping me with this latest Silverton's Adventure. I don't think I have ever seen burnished mahogony but if I ever do I think it will be just this color. It is light as a feather, shreddy like Panettone. And the taste, well one taste and the anxiety attack over my timing was forgotten. I planned to take a loaf to a fellow Silverton baker...but I didn't tell her I would... it will be a real test of friendship if I follow through! Barbra
thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

You could almost use them as home decor, but I doubt they'd last.

Me thinks I'll have to BBGAify this raisin brioche sometime soon.

Very impressive.

gmabaking's picture
gmabaking

What nice comments, thank you. The bread made it to my Silverton buddy! She had the same experience with the book as I did. The first time I saw one was from the library and I ordered one before I had to return the library copy. I lent her my book and when she returned it a few days later, I told her to let me know when she needed it....She already had her own. This was her introduction to sourdough so it was fun comparing notes. Izzy's rye bread has taken her down the "search for the perfect rye" road for now.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

Magnificent!  Mahaogany furniture doesn't look that good!  It doesn't taste as good either and your bread is way cheaper :-) I've never seen anything like it.  Well Done Barbara (WDB) ! If my assistant had thumbs she would give you 4 thumbs up.

gmabaking's picture
gmabaking

Thank you, I'd like to say my assistant would share her morsel with yours but she is pretty possesive when buttery bread is in her grasp.

When it first started to brown I was glad that I had found pictures of the bread with the same coloration here on TFL when I was obsessing about time frames. First time I have seen where you brush with egg yolk an hour before baking. It must sink into the dough as it sits.

I wonder how this panettone type dough would do as cinnamon rolls?

Going to  have to try that walnut bread next though. It is so gorgeous.

gmagmabaking2's picture
gmagmabaking2

Wanted to edit these photos into Barb's post about the Nancy Silverton's Raisin Bread, but that window of opportunity had passed ;-)... Here are Barb's crumb shots of the great loaves she made.

She commented that this is the BEST BREAD she had

ever made!!!  Notice the spot where the raisin fell out?! She said that could be laughingly called a "window pane"... LOL.

Beautiful bread, made by an even more beautiful sister.

thomaschacon's picture
thomaschacon (not verified)

It was snatched and consumed.

I want a piece right now. And I want to toast it. And I want to slather it with butter.

So many wants, so little stomach capacity.