Cherry Walnut Bread

I love morning rituals.  Breakfast always.  Drinking my morning coffee while I mull over the day ahead of me is a must.  It makes me feel fancy.

Of course, what good is coffee without something  nice and carb filled to enjoy it with?  That’s where this bread comes in.  This bread is the perfect morning bread.  It’s the perfect bread to bite into after that first sip of coffee, eyes closed, and feel as calm and and cozy as you were in bed.  Start your morning with this bread, and it’s going to be a good day.

This isn’t a fussy bread recipe.  So make it.  And start your day off right, or end your dinner with it, or snack on it, or eat it with every meal (I don’t blame you).

Cherry Walnut Bread

1 1/4 cups warm water
2 teaspoons active dry yeast (one packet)
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour *
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour *
1 cup rolled oats (not instant oats)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 cup walnut pieces (or chopped walnuts)
1/2 – 1 cup dried cherries (amount is up to your taste preferences)

* A note about flour.  I don’t have a scale, but technically flour should be weighed out since it can be compacted, thus all 1 cup scoops are not created equal.  To correctly measure out flour in this recipe, make sure it remains light and airy.  This can be done by vigorously shaking the flour container (if you keep your flour in a container), or by lightly pouring the flour into the measuring cup.  You don’t want to add too much flour to this recipe, or your bread will be very dense.

In medium-sized bowl, add yeast to warm water and stir until dissolved.  Stir in honey, and let sit for ~10 min, until the yeast blooms.

While waiting, mix together the flours, oats and salt.  Add dry ingredients to wet, and fully incorporate.  Then add fruit and nuts.  Knead to incorporate, shape into a baguette, then let sit in a warm place for 30 min to rise.

Bake in an 350F oven for 30 min, then boost the temperature to 400F for 10 min, for a total baking time of 40min.  For a crispy crust, place a pan filled with water into the bottom of your oven.  The steam from the water will give your bread an awesome, rustic and crunchy exterior.

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