Some bread is just meant to be toasted. Like this chunky fruit and nut Muesli Bread. When the thick biscotti shaped slices hit the hot coils the nuts begin to toast and turn fragrant, the bits of fruit get all jammy, and the smell of fresh baked yeast bread fills the kitchen. I think you’re going to be very happy you stopped by today. This Muesli Toasting Bread is to die for. I loved it so much I made it twice this week. It’s the world’s best toasting bread, full of all sorts of fruit and nuts, and made even heartier with the addition of MUESLI cereal.
Muesli is a raw rolled grain cereal that’s served with fruit and nuts, falling somewhere between oatmeal and granola. It was invented by a Swiss doctor at the turn of the last century to help nourish his patients, so, you get the idea, it’s healthy. You can buy it in the regular grocery store in the cereal aisle, or online. I’ve made it here on the blog, as well, but for this recipe I’d use the packaged stuff.
The muesli theme is carried throughout the bread with the heavy presence of dried fruit and whole nuts. It brings the experience of toast, which I eat on 95% of mornings, to a whole new level. Take it from me, this stuff is superb. I slice it nice and thick, so it gets crunchy on the outside and stays nice and chewy on the inside. All it needs is a smear of butter.
You can customize the fruit and nut add-ins to fit your own taste. I used pistachios, hazelnuts, cranberries, currents, and apricots. Any combination will be great, and you’ll need 1 1/2 cups of the mixture to ensure your bread is fully loaded. The first time I made it I formed the dough into 2 loaves. The second time I made one large loaf, and I think I liked that better.
This is a fairly easy bread, as yeast breads go. Once you’ve amassed your fruit and nut bits, it’s a straight shot — minimal kneading and rising times. The big wow comes when you slice the finished bread; the fruits and nuts make a stained glass type pattern in each slice. The second big wow comes when you toast it … the aroma is amazing. The third big wow comes with that first bite…
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup water
- a scant cup of muesli cereal (about 7/8 cup)
- 1 tsp honey
- 3 cups bread flour (375 g)
- 1 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup dried apricots, rough chopped
- 1/4 cup whole pistachios
- 1/4 cup whole hazelnuts
- 1/4 cup dried currents
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1 packet yeast
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 beaten egg (for brushing)
- rolled oats (for sprinkling on the surface)
- Put the 1/2 cup milk, the 1/2 cup water, the honey, and the muesli cereal in the bowl of a stand mixer, or a regular bowl if mixing by hand. Let it soak for about 15 minutes.
- Dissolve the yeast in 1/4 cup warm (100-115F) tap water.
- Add the yeast, salt, and flour to the bowl with the muesli and mix on low for 3 - 4 minutes or until the dough comes away from the bowl. The dough will be sticky,
- Turn the dough onto a floured surface and form it into a rectangle. Spread 1/2 of the fruit and nuts over the surface, then fold the dough in from each side and add the rest of the fruit and nuts. Knead the dough to incorporate all the bits evenly.
- Put the dough in a clean, oiled bowl, cover well and set in a warm place to rise for an hour.
- Turn the dough out onto a parchment lined baking sheet and gently form into a rectangle loaf. Push in any large bits of nuts or fruit so that the surface is as smooth as possible.
- Brush with beaten egg, and sprinkle with oats. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes. Meanwhile set the oven to 430F.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes. If the crust gets too brown, cover loosely with foil towards the end of the baking time.
- Cool on a rack before slicing.
Recipe adapted from delicious days
This bread was a huge hit in our house. The thick chewy slices soak up the butter, and you get big nuggets of toasted hazelnut and jammy fruit in every bite. A toaster oven is ideal for the long slices, otherwise you can cut them in half before toasting, or pop them down once, then flip and toast the other side.
Tips for success:
- Make sure the water you blend your yeast with is at the right lukewarm temperature, about 112F. Too hot will kill the delicate yeast, to cold won’t allow it to come alive.
- Use bread flour, and weigh it for accuracy. If you don’t have a scale, measure it out using the fluff, scoop and level method. Fluff up the flour to loosen it. Spoon the flour lightly into the measuring cup, and then level it off with the side of a knife.
- Use whole hazelnuts and pistachios for a beautiful interior and best texture and flavor. If you choose to use other nuts, leave them as chunky as possible.
- In order for bread to rise, it must be in a warm place. Sometimes that’s hard to find. I sometimes set mine in a sunny bay window, or on top of my furnace. An oven that has been pre-warmed and then turned off can work, too. In a pinch, a heating pad set on low can work great.
- I always repeat this simple rule — make sure your oven is set to the correct temperature. I keep an inexpensive oven thermometer hanging from one of the racks so I can check for accuracy.
- Don’t over bake the bread, if you are unsure, take it out. If it is slightly under baked it will finish baking in the toaster.
*I am linking this post to Yeastspotting