Gruyère and walnut bread

Walnuts are showcased in this bread. Recipe: Gruyère and walnut bread (Robert Lachman / Los Angeles Times)



This bread is so delicious, it's hard not to eat a whole loaf at once. Good thing this recipe — from veteran baker Nick Malgieri's latest book, "Bake!" — makes two loaves. The book made it on our list of this year's "10 Great Books," at least partly because of his Gruyère and walnut bread. It's spiked with a little freshly ground pepper, a kicky complement to the Swiss Gruyère cheese and toasted walnuts. It's also not easy waiting for it to cool before you slice into it.

Gruyère and walnut bread

Total time: About 1 1/2 hours, plus rising and cooling times

Servings: 16 to 20

Note: Adapted from "Bake!" by Nick Malgieri. This recipe requires the use of a stand mixer.


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6 1/2 cups bread flour (spoon into a dry measuring cup and level off)

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon salt

2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper or crushed red pepper, optional

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, cut into 8 pieces, plus optional extra melted butter for brushing on the finished bread

1 1/2 cups milk, scalded

1 cup warm water, about 110 degrees

2 1/2 teaspoons (1 1/4-ounce envelope) active dry yeast

2 cups loosely packed coarsely grated Swiss Gruyère cheese

2 cups chopped walnuts, lightly toasted

1. Butter or grease 2 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pans.

2. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, salt and pepper. Set aside.

3. In a small bowl (or the pan in which the milk was scalded), stir the butter into the hot milk. Cool the milk to room temperature.