The Prancing Pony Rustic Walnut Bread is inspired by The Hobbit Desolation of Smaug. At the beginning of the movie we see Gandalf join Thorin Oakenshield at the Prancing Pony in Bree to discuss Thorin’s mission to reclaim the dwarf’s homeland. Both men order a plate with rustic bread, a wedge of cheese and a few tomatoes. There are also multiple scenes throughout The Hobbit movies where we see a large bowl of walnuts. The most notable is when we see Kili resting his head in a bowl of walnuts while being healed. Given the prevalence of walnuts, I thought a bread incorporating walnuts would be perfect.
Prancing Pony Rustic Walnut Bread Recipe
- 6 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- 1 tbsp instant yeast
- 1½ tsp salt
- 1½ cups warm water
- ½ cup honey
- ¼ cup walnut or olive oil
- 1 cups walnut pieces, toasted until lightly browned
- Mix together the flour, salt and instant yeast.
- Stir in the water, honey, and oil, mixing until the dough has formed a shaggy mass.
- Using stand mixer, knead the dough until it forms a smooth and satiny ball. (Optional: Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter. Knead the dough, adding flour as necessary, to form a smooth and satiny ball.)
- Coat a bowl with oil. Put the dough into a bowl and drizzle with a tablespoon of oil; turn the dough to coat it with the oil.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp towel. Let the dough rise until it is puffy, about 1½ hours.
- Gently deflate the dough and knead in the walnuts.
- Divide the dough in half and form each half into a ball. Place on a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment or greased and sprinkled with cornmeal or semolina flour.
- Cover the loaves with damp towels and let rise until swollen. This will take 30-45 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F; the loaves will burn if the oven is too hot.
- Sprinkle flour on top of the loaves, and use a serrated knife to slash a cross in the top of each loaf about 1" deep.
- Bake the loaves for 35-45 minutes, until they are well browned and sound hollow when thumped on the bottom; their internal temperature will measure 190°F on an instant-read thermometer.
- Put the loaves on a rack to cool, and let sit for at least 20 minutes before cutting.
Adapted from King Arthur Flour
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