My favorite thing about fall isn’t sweaters, boots, or pumpkin spice lattes, it’s baking. I bake all year round but it’s more acceptable in the fall when the weather is cooling down and the warmth from the oven is more welcomed. This time of year I’m always baking cookies, cakes, and pies as I try to figure out what I’ll be bringing to the holiday parties that are sure to be starting soon. The other night my husband mentioned wanting to try baking mini-pies in cupcake pans so that’ll be on the horizon soon. First though, I dug out my breakfast loaf pans because I wanted to make a favorite honey walnut breakfast loaf.
I use black walnuts for the bread because they are actually native to the appalachian region. You can find black walnut trees growing wild if you know where to look or you can find local farms that allow you to harvest your own. If you’re harvesting your own, you have to be careful because as the nuts ripen they fill with a dark black liquid that stains everything. I highly recommend using gloves because if you get the black walnut liquid on your hands it’s going to stain your skin for days. It’s a mess. If you’re into hand lettering or calligraphy, you may want to try harvesting the liquid because once upon a time it was actually used as ink. I know that’s off-topic but, you know, #funfact. I typically just go to the farmer’s market and buy black walnuts the farmer’s have already harvested. It’s just easier. If you don’t have or can’t find black walnuts, regular walnuts work just fine.
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My bread turned out soft and crumbly, just the way we like it. It’s very important, when combining the wet and dry ingredients, to work them only until just combined. If you over-work the bread dough, it’ll turn out dense and heavy which is not what you want in a breakfast loaf. You have to work the dough with a light hand and stop mixing when the dry ingredients are absorbed.
This bread can be finicky so it’s important that you follow the directions exactly as described in the recipe below. It’s an easy recipe to follow but there’s not a lot of room for experimentation unless you’re familiar with baking bread.
To make this honey walnut breakfast loaf you’ll need:
- 9 x 5 inch loaf pan
- Mixing bowls
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Hand mixer (a stand mixer works just fine but I prefer a hand mixer when working with bread dough)
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup milk
- 3/4 cup honey
- 2 tbsp butter, melted and brought to room temperature
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup chopped black walnuts, divided
- Preheat your oven to 350-degrees
- Grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with butter or cooking spray
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda until well-blended.
- In a medium bowl, beat the large egg until no solid remains.
- Add milk, honey, butter, and vanilla extract to the medium bowl with the egg. Beat until well-blended.
- Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, beating until just combined.
- Gently fold 3/4 cup chopped walnuts into the dough.
- Add the dough into the greased loaf pan and top with the remaining 1/4 cup chopped walnuts. Gently press the walnuts into top of the bread dough.
- Bake for approximately 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the bread comes out clean.
- Allow to cool on a wire rack for 10 - 15 minutes before removing from pan.
- If your bread turns out dense you likely overworked the dough when combining the wet and dry ingredients.
- You may substitute pecans for walnuts if you don't have walnuts available.
Give them a try and tag me in your pics on IG @honeyandpineco or use #honeyandpineco.