I love pecans and I am lucky enough to have my very own pecan supplier. A pecan supplier? - sounds like I have a serious pecan addiction problem doesn't it? Actually I have some really good friends who just happen to live in a pecan grove. The trees are absolutely beautiful but they tell me that living amongst a grove of pecan tress does create a lot of extra work. The nuts fall from the trees and cover the ground for much of the Fall. Then there is the cracking and the removing of the meat - tasks that require a great deal of patience when you're working with such a large quantity.
For Christmas last year, my sweet friends gave me a bag of these precious pecans. I was so excited that I marked that bag specifically before I stored them in the freezer. I've used them sparingly - only finding them worthy to go into certain recipes.
What better way to use these valuable pecans than in a whole wheat baguette? I found this recipe in my Tomas Keller cookbook. I had to do some modifications to the recipe because I don't work in a commercial kitchen but the results were still extraordinary.
Whole Wheat-Pecan Demi Baguette
2 1/4 cups flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon yeast
1 1/2 Tablespoons browned butter
3/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons ice water
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons chopped pecans
Add pecans and mix until just incorporated.
Place in a greased bowl and let rise. (My dough rose for 2 1/2 hours while I went grocery shopping.)
Punch down and divide into 3 pieces. Shape each piece into a long log. Let rise on a silpat lined cookie sheet for 1 1/2 hours.
Bake 35 minutes at 375. (As usual, I went waaaay overboard on the bread pictures.)
And last but not least .... the butter shot.
Now that you've seen the results, I will break it to you that I started this bread at 10:00 in the morning and it wasn't ready to bake until 4:00 in the afternoon. I did leave it in the fermentation stage and go and meet Ben for lunch. It's not all hands on time, but this bread definitely takes some time extra time to proof. If you are a bread lover like me though, I think you'll agree that it's totally worth it. This bread is fantastic.
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