Roast the walnuts for about 5 minutes in a 160°C oven. Leave to cool, and crush lightly.
Put the ☆ ingredients in a bread machine. When the flours have blended, add the dry yeast, and then add the water little by little while observing the dough.
After about 2 minutes, add the crushed walnuts. Take the dough out after another 3 minutes or so.
Round off the dough, put into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and commence the 1st rising! If your oven has a 'bread rising' setting, let the dough rise at 35 to 40°C.)
If you don't have a bread machine: Put the ☆ ingredients in a bowl and mix quickly. Add the dry yeast, and add the water little by little while observing the dough.
When the dough comes together, add the walnuts and knead into the dough. When they're evenly incorporated, round off the dough.
Put the dough in a clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap and leave to rise until it has doubled in volume! The photo shows the dough after it has risen.
Dust a banneton (bread rising pan) with Lys d'Or or bread flour (not listed) evenly using a tea strainer.
Take the risen dough out, deflate by pressing on it with your palms, round it off again, and let it rest for 20 minutes covered with a bowl to prevent it from drying out.
Press down on the dough with your palms to deflate, and round it off again so that it has a taut, smooth surface. Put the dough in the banneton with the seam side up, cover with plastic wrap and leave until it has risen to twice its original volume (2nd rising)!
When it has finished rising, put an oven tray and a bowl that's big enough to cover the dough in the oven, and start preheating to 250°C
When the dough has finished rising, take the plastic wrap off, invert a baking sheet on top of the banneton, turn it over carefully and transfer the dough.
Wet a fruit knife and slash the top of the loaf. Place the dough on the preheated oven tray, cover with a bowl and bake at 210°C for 7 minutes.
Take the bowl off and bake for another 11 to 13 minutes to finish. Cool the bread on a cooling rack and then store in a plastic bag.
Variation: I added 1 to 2 tablespoons of maple syrup to the dough - delicious. Add the maple syrup at step 2, when you add the water!
I used an oval shaped banneton for this version, and slashed the dough in the middle once, and diagonally to the left and right several times. I had a leaf shape in mind.
Story Behind this Recipe
We received a hard-crust walnut bread as a gift, and I wanted to make a "walnuts-only" pain de campagne myself. I for a recipe but couldn't find one, so I referred to recipes I'd used before to come up with this one!
It's better to add the water little by little while observing the dough, rather than adding it all at once! You'll need less on humid days, and more on dry days!
I recommend refrigerating the dough for rising during the hot summer days! Adjust the baking temperature and time according to your own oven!