Baking History

A Taste For The Past

Prune and Walnut Whole-Wheat Loaf

Posted by bakinghistory on September 8, 2008

A sweet whole wheat bread full of prunes and walnuts

This is my entry for this month edition of Weekend Breakfast Blogging, a blog event started by Nandita of Saffron Trail and hosted this time by Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen. The theme proposed by Aparna is “Grains in my Breakfast”.


This simple whole-wheat bread is one of my favorites to have for breakfast, usually lightly spread with very fresh cream cheese and paired with a cup of strong black tea.

The liquid for this dough is provided by the water in which prunes are briefly simmered to soften, which provide flavor and just the right sweetness, counterbalanced by the slightly bitter aftertaste of the walnuts and the full  flavor of whole wheat.

Other dried fruits can be used instead of prunes, and in my opinion dried tart cherries work amazingly well—however, my favorite remains the one made with prunes, as in the original recipe.

This bread also goes to Susan’s Yeast Spotting

From the original recipe by Carolyn Putnam Webber

In: “Two Hundred and Seventy-five War-time Recipes, 1918—USA


1/2 cup dried prunes (I used unsulfured, organic prunes)

1 cup water

1/4 cup (organic) sugar

1 tsp salt

1 tbsp butter

1/2 cup walnut pieces

2-1/4 cups whole wheat flour (or as needed)

1-1/4 tsp active dry yeast dissolved in 1 tbsp warm water.

Briefly simmer the prunes in 1 cup of water, just until tender—they should not be mushy. Strain the prunes and reserve the cooking liquid (add extra water to make 1 cup). Cut the prunes in quarters, then set aside.

Add the sugar and salt to the cooking liquid, mix well and set aside until lukewarm

Place 2 cups of the flour in the bowl of a stand mixer, add the yeast and then the cooled cooking liquid. Mix on low speed until a dough forms, and towards the end add the butter cut in small pieces. The dough should be well developed and supple, but not too stiff. Add the remaining flour as necessary.

Let the dough ferment, covered, until doubled in bulk. Knead briefly again, let ferment once more in a covered bowl until doubled in bulk. Gently flatten and stretch the fermented dough to form a rectangle, then spread the walnut and prune pieces, pressing them into the dough. Roll up like a jelly-roll, pushing to avoid trapping air inside. Form into a loaf and place into a lightly greased  8 x 4-inches bread pan and let it ferment covered until the dough reaches about 1/2-inch above the rim of the pan.

Bake in a preheated oven (350F) for about 35 minutes, until golden brown. Unmold the bread and let it cool on a rack before slicing.

12 Responses to “Prune and Walnut Whole-Wheat Loaf”

  1. Simona said

    I like the idea of rolling the dough to distribute the walnuts and prunes in the dough. Yummy looking bread.

  2. Miri said

    Wow Manuela, this bread looks seriously rich and flavorful! It would fit just perfect on my plate on a beautiful Saturday morning (for me, with a cup of hot cocoa, please 🙂 )

  3. bakinghistory said

    @ Simona: Ciao! That technique eliminates the problem of finding all the dried fruits clustered in just one area of the loaf and it is also faster than trying to knead them in the dough. 🙂

  4. bakinghistory said

    @ Miri: Yes! I always a loaf of this bread sliced and wrapped in aluminum foil in the freezer for breakfast when I have no time to bake. I know for a fact it is good to have with hot cocoa as well, since that is my husband’s favorite breakfast :-).

  5. Boy that looks yummy and healthy. If anyone needs more prunes than that, here’s a super easy Prune Cake Recipe from France known as Far Breton. A bientot!

  6. Ok, after Lynn’s Harvest Bread and this, I really knead to bake some fruit filled bread!

  7. bakinghistory said

    @ Kim: Thanks! Far Breton is one of my absolute favorites!

    @ MyKitchenInHalfCups: Thanks! and Thanks for visiting 🙂

  8. Yes, this looks like it would be wonderful for breakfast with cream cheese (and coffee for me 🙂 )

  9. bakinghistory said

    @ Susan: Thanks! 🙂

  10. […] Prune and Walnut Whole-Wheat Loaf ~ Baking History […]

  11. Louise said

    Another wonderful recipe I must pass on to my daughter. If she doesn’t start baking this for Tabi Today, I’ll be trying my hand at it and sending it off! Thanks so much for sharing:)

  12. bakinghistory said

    @ Louise: Hi! I am glad you’re back 🙂 !

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