This Walnut Bread is nutty, homey, comforting, and lightly sweet. It is the perfect addition to any baking repertoire. Enjoy it spread with butter, fig jam, or whipped honey butter!
This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Please see my disclosure policy for details.
Table of contents
- This Walnut Bread is nutty, homey, comforting, and lightly sweet. It is the perfect addition to any baking repertoire. Enjoy it spread with butter, fig jam, or whipped honey butter!
- Why you'll love this raisin walnut bread:
- Save this walnut bread recipe for later on Pinterest:
- Ingredient substitutions:
- How to make walnut bread:
- Recipe pro-tips:
- Recipe variations:
- Storage and freezing directions:
- Recipe FAQs:
- Tools needed to make this recipe:
- More bread recipes:
Maternity leave meant many expected things for me: little sleep, lots of cuddles, and plenty of nursing time in the glider with the little man.
One unexpected part of my time "off" (from work, at least!) was fresh made bread. A treat we discovered after my mom picked up a loaf of sourdough whole wheat bread from a local bakery, bread was just the comfort food we needed. Satisfying for my insane nursing appetite, not too sweet, and still such a treat.
Though I did close to no baking while in the newborn phase, I knew that I wanted to get back into bread baking when I returned to work. So, here I am with this walnut bread recipe!
Though it took me a few tries with this bread, I've landed on a version I love. The first loaf was a bit dry and lackluster. The solution to that: whisking a bit of melted butter in with the yeast and increasing the salt in the bread.
On the first round of making this bread, I didn't knead the raisins in, either. On the second attempt, however, I found that working them into the dough gave it a nice flavor that perfectly complemented the nuts and maple syrup.
Though there are admittedly quite a few steps for this recipe, they take more time than complexity. And if kneading bread is as enjoyable for you as it is for me, the process can be quite relaxing and therapeutic. But, most importantly, the results of your labor will be worth it!
Why you'll love this raisin walnut bread:
- Tender and nutty: with a soft crumb and a comforting nutty flavor, this sweet walnut bread is one-of-a-kind!
- Naturally sweet: maple syrup, cinnamon, and raisins add sweet notes that will keep you coming back for more.
- Versatile: serve this bread toasted with butter and cinnamon for breakfast or make a chicken salad or turkey sandwich with it.
- A homemade baking treat: if you're in the mood for a little baking therapy, this bread is for you! Though the prep and kneading process aren't overly complicated, they are satisfying and create a delicious result!
Save this walnut bread recipe for later on Pinterest:
- Walnut pieces: if using walnut halves, chop them up roughly before making this recipe.
- All-purpose flour: if you haven't baked in a while, check the date on your flour, as using fresh flour will give the best flavor and texture to your bread!
- Whole wheat flour: complements the nutty flavor of the walnuts and also adds fiber to the bread.
- Active dry yeast: helps the bread rise. Use active dry yeast for best results.
- Maple syrup: adds a light sweetness to the bread and also helps to activate the yeast and give the bread a nice crust.
- Ground cinnamon: any type of ground cinnamon works, though I am partial to Vietnamese, or Saigon, cinnamon.
- Raisins: technically optional, but highly encouraged.
- Unsalted butter: adds a light richness to the bread.
- Salt: just a touch enhances the flavor in big ways.
- Sweetener: the same amount of honey or agave syrup can substitute for the maple syrup in this nut bread recipe.
- Raisins: red raisins are the best for this recipe, but golden raisins are also great in this recipe. They had light and bright pops of flavor to the bread.
- Butter: olive oil or walnut oil can be used in place of the butter to make this bread dairy-free, vegan, and non-enriched.
How to make walnut bread:
For the complete recipe and measurements, scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Step 1: Toast the walnuts on a cookie sheet in an oven preheated to 400 degrees until nutty and golden brown.
Step 2: In a large mixing bowl, whisk the dry yeast, warm water, and maple syrup together until combined. Let sit for 5-10 minutes, or until the mixture starts to look frothy. Whisk 2 tablespoons of the melted butter (or oil) into the yeast mixture.
Step 3: In the bowl of a food processor, pulverize 2 tablespoons of the toasted walnuts with 2 tablespoons of the wheat flour.
Step 4: In a mixing bowl, whisk the remaining whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, salt, and cinnamon in with the pulverized walnut flour.
Step 5: Slowly stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, until the flour is mainly absorbed into the wet ingredients.
Step 6: Turn the dough out onto a flour-dusted surface and knead for 5-10 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic, sprinkling and kneading in extra all-purpose flour as needed to keep the flour from sticking to the counter or your hands.
Step 7: Coat a clean mixing bowl with oil or non-stick spray. Add the dough to the bowl. Cover with a damp towel and let rise in a warm place for 1 ½ hours, or until doubled in size.
Step 8: Punch the dough down. Turn the dough out onto a flour-dusted surface.
Step 9: Knead the remaining walnuts and the raisins into the dough until just combined.
Step 10: Sprinkle a baking sheet with cornmeal. Place the dough on the baking sheet. Using a sharp knife, score the dough with a large X.
Step 11: Cover the dough with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until puffy and doubled in size.
Step 12: Brush the top of the bread with the remaining 1 tablespoon of melted butter or oil.
Step 13: Add the raisin walnut bread to an oven preheated to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Throw a handful of ice cubes into the bottom of the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
Step 14: Rotate the bread in the oven. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake for an additional 20-25 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown and it sounds hollow when tapped.
Cool the walnut raisin bread on a wire cooling rack until at room temperature. Enjoy!
- Storing active dry yeast: to keep the yeast fresh and active, store it in a freezer-safe container in the freezer! It can be stored this way for up to two years.
- Toasting the walnuts: toast the walnuts until they get nutty and just golden around the edges. Once they reach this stage the walnuts can easily and quickly burn, so you will want to remove them from the oven promptly after reaching it.
- Use warm, but not hot water. Water that is just warm to the touch, but not hot should work just great for this recipe. But, if you'd like to know for sure what the temperature of the water is, use a food thermometer to read it. 90-95 degrees Fahrenheit water is what we are looking for here.
- Weigh the flour for the most accurate measurement. Although I know this may seem like it is splitting hairs, weighing flour will give you the best and most tender bread result. Scooping flour to measure can increase the flour in the recipe by up to 20%! Even scooping and leveling can overweigh the flour by 10-15%; both of which can result in dry or dense bread loaves.
- Proof the bread dough in a warm, but not hot, part of your house. My favorite place to proof bread is in our sunny kitchen windows. Other great places are on the top of the refrigerator or in a closed oven (without the heat on).
- Throw ice in the bottom of the oven while baking the bread: this is an important step that you won't want to skip. As the ice melts in the oven, it will create light steam for the bread, keeping the crust of the bread moist and tender and allowing it to expand as it bakes.
- Add some tang to the bread by substituting dried cranberries or cherries for the raisins.
- Make the bread richer by using warmed 1% or 2% milk instead of water.
- Add more warm spice to the loaf by doubling the cinnamon in the recipe.
- Create a crunchy and sweet crust by sprinkling the butter-brushed loaf of dough with cinnamon sugar before baking!
Storage and freezing directions:
Leftover bread keeps covered in an airtight container for 2-3 days. It can also be frozen in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months.
Yes! In fact, I live at 5000 feet above sea level, and bake this recipe without any adjustments!
This variation of walnut bread is made with a basic yeast dough that is enriched with butter. Toasted walnuts and raisins are kneaded in and the dough is brushed with a light coating of butter before baking. If you prefer to make a non-enriched dough, however, you can substitute olive oil or walnut oil for the butter.
Tools needed to make this recipe:
- Mixing bowls
- Measuring cups
- Food scale
- Dough scraper (optional, but encouraged)
- Silicone spatula or wooden spoon
- Baking sheet
- Cooling rack
More bread recipes:
If you made and liked this recipe, don't forget to rate the recipe and let me know how it went for you in the comments! It always makes my day to hear from you!