Pain Aux Amandes/ Almond bread

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I am always on the lookout for bread recipes which we can eat during breakfast with a little bit butter or jam and in the night if needed it can be used for making sandwiches. I am open to the idea of making various kinds of bread, as it is a sort of bread baking adventure. I was planning to bake baguette for a long time, and finally I did make it a few days ago. The result was a tasty bread, which looks like a sword. After baking it I realized baguette is a simple looking bread, which is tough even for a experienced baker . So I have dropped the idea of making it again in the short time, but plan to take it up again in a couple of month’s time. I have a strong determination left in some part of my brain, to conquer the baguette. 

Last week, in bread baking forum: the fresh loaf, I have seen a post on how to find out whether you are addicted to bread making. I guess I qualified with half of the questions yielding an answer that I am somewhat addicted to bread baking. I am always looking out for recipes on internet, reading bread baking books and looking out for gadgets needed for bread baking. When I am baking bread I keep looking through the glass window of the oven every once in a while to check how much oven spring the bread has. After baking  I  slice the bread to look how good is the crumb? How much crust the bread has got?

If you are baking sandwich breads, these questions are little bit forgiving, where as  in artisan bread, that part is more important. I need to train more to get all the essentials of bread baking right. After reading bread baking books, I found out that only a small amount of yeast is needed to work make a tasty bread, which means there is a lot more work for the yeast to do. With less yeast to start with, the bread will have a good taste and less of yeasty taste. Still I am in the learning phase, I will try to improve every step as it goes. 
In my house nut bread has more demand than the normal versions, so I am experimenting with nut bread now a day. This bread was adapted from French Pain Aux Noix (Walnut bread). I was planning to make Pain Aux Noix first, and even made the preferment. However the next morning, while gathering ingredients from pantry, I realize that I am out of walnuts? Oops then what ? searching  for another nut  and  luckily I found some chopped blanched almonds, so the bread becomes Pain Aux amandes. I used the recipe from King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking: Delicious Recipes Using Nutritious Whole Grains . I wanted to incorporate Rye flour to the bread, so I adjusted the amount of whole wheat flour with Rye flour in the dough. Recipe asked for orange juice, why waste orange zest so added that also into the recipe. The bread turned out to be extremely tasty, nutty bread which  is wonderful with a little Jam or cream cheese. Here goes the recipe.

One year ago: Mutter Paneer /Green peas and cottage cheese gravy

Print recipe from Here

What you need
Pre ferment

Whole wheat flour: 1 ½ cup/ 170 g
Cool water: 2/3 cup/ 148g
Instant yeast: 1/8 teaspoon


Whole wheat flour: ¾ cup/ 85 g
Rye flour: ½ cup / 55 g
Bread flour: 1 ¾ cup/257g
Brown sugar: 1 ½ tablespoon/12g
Salt: 1 ½ teaspoon/7g
Instant yeast: 2 teaspoon/ 6 g
Chopped blanched almond: 1 1/4cup/ 158g
Butter: 4 tablespoon ( chopped cold butter into six or seven pieces)
Orange juice: ¼ cup/43g
Milk: ¾ cup/ 189g
Vital gluten: 1 ½ tablespoon/13.5g
Water: ½ tablespoon
Preferment: all the above

How I made

Night before baking in a bowl stir in whole wheat flour, yeast and water and mix everything with a wooden spoon and cover with plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature ( around 70-80 F).

Zest the orange with zester and extract the juice and set aside. Warm milk for about 35 seconds on high heat and set aside. 
In a bowl of kitchen aid mixer fitted with paddle attachment, stir in the rye , whole wheat and bread flour and yeast and mix well. Then add brown sugar, salt, chopped cold butter, orange juice and orange zest, milk and preferment and mix well for 3 minutes. Then change to dough hook and knead the dough for about 8 minutes or until the dough starts leaves from the sides and form a ball. In between add 1/ 2 tablespoon of water to form sticky dough. Then transfer the dough to well floured area and knead for another 5 minutes or until they become shiny, supple, non sticky dough. The dough should pass the window pane test and register 77 to 81 F. If you are kneading by hand it takes about 15 minutes of kneading. 

Transfer the dough to a well oiled bowl and coat them with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for first rising or until they double in size. It took about 1 hour and 50 minutes. 
While the dough is fermenting, toast the chopped blanched almond until they are lightly brown. In stove top it takes about 2 minutes. If you are using oven toast them at 350 F for about 10 minutes. Set aside.
Transfer the dough the well floured surface and gently degas and incorporate the toasted almonds into the dough. Divide the dough in half (into two 574.5 g pieces), and shape each half into a ball. Place the balls on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet, and let them rise, covered, for 45 minutes, until they’re quite puffy, though not necessarily doubled in bulk. 

By the end of the second proofing preheat the oven to 425 F. Keep an empty broiler pan in the lower rack of oven. Add boiling hot water into the broiler pan when you are ready to bake the bread. (This will create steam, necessary to make the thick crust). Score the bread before putting into the oven. 
Bake for about 23 minutes or until the center become golden brown, and make a hollow sound when thumped in the bottom. If using instant thermometer, when it is done bread should register 185-190 F. Rotate the loaf pan at 180 degrees in between around 15 minutes of baking.

When the loaves is finished baking, remove them immediately from the pans and cool on rack for at least 1 hour, preferably 2 hours, before slicing and serving.
Serve in thin slices with butter and/or cheese. 

Preparation time: over night for preferment + 3 hours 30 minutes
Yield: Two 6- to 7-inch loaves
Verdict: Nutty, yummy
Will you make it again: Yes I will

I am sending this delicious nutty bread to
Yeastspotting hosted by Susan
AWED: French hosted by Priya originally started by DK.
Hearth and soul blog hop volume #25 hosted by Christy 

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  1. says

    Oooh, this looks wonderful, Swathi! I’ve never had almonds in bread but I would love to try it…I bet it is fantastic toasted!

  2. says

    This bread definitely looks soft and yummy! I think a bread baking addiction isn’t a bad thing to have! Definitely wish I had one! Hehe

  3. says

    I can imagine that wonderful smell of freshly baked bread. Yum. BTW, the syrup can last for a very long time. I have sour cherries syrup which I made more than a year and it’s wonderful.

  4. says

    Your bread is lovely Swathi! You are a very talented bread baker! I do the same thing when I am baking – keep peeking in the window.

  5. says

    Making bread can certainly be addicting – just the mixing and kneading and rising alone are so meditative. And that to say nothing of the taste of bread! This looks like a really gorgeous loaf. Thanks for sharing with the Hearth and Soul hop.