Some people might claim that the most important nut to breadmaking is the chestnut: it was once the staple for many people living in south-western France and was itself turned into flour for making a sort of bread. It still is called le pain de bois - bread of the woods.
The walnut may never have been turned into a loaf, but it has ornamented many, for its rich and seasoned flavour seems to complement the taste of grains - be they wheat or rye. And walnut bread, sometimes sweetened, as here, with raisins or sultanas, is a perfect foil for strong cheese.
This wholemeal loaf is enriched with egg and milk, as well as the filling of nuts and dried fruit. The dough should be quite moist; wholemeal has a tendency to dry out. Remember, too, that wholemeal performs best if it kept warm through the whole process, from mixing to final proof.
© 2005 Tom Jaine. All rights reserved.