Did you know that it can be simple to make “bakery style” rustic bread at home with only a few steps? This is one of my favorite bread recipes with the crust being buttery and flaky, while warm and soft on the inside. The flavors are a wonderful combination of sweet juicy pears, with crunchy walnuts, spices and rosemary.
Pears broken down with a little sugar and spices make one of my favorite fruit butters. You can easily use this butter as toppings for your pancakes, swirled into your yogurt or turned into fruity vinaigrette. This pear butter is scented with lemon zest and vanilla, your home will be smelling so wonderful!
Since the bread is not overly sweet, it works well with the pear butter. Make an extra loaf and bring it over to your family celebrations with a small jar of pear butter for a lovely holiday gift.
Pear, Walnut & Rosemary Bread
makes 1 loaf of bread
1 cup of warm water (between 110 and 115 degrees F)
2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
pinch of granulated sugar
4 ounces unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 tablespoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon rosemary
¾ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ cup chopped walnuts
1 cup of chopped pears
4 cups of bread flour, plus more for dusting (I have also made this will all-purpose flour)
2 teaspoons salt
olive oil for topping
In a small bowl, warm 1 cup of water to 110 degrees. Sprinkle yeast over the water, add a pinch of sugar and give it one quick stir. Set aside for 5 minutes. The mixture will begin to foam. If it does not, start over.
Using a small pan, melt butter over medium heat. Once melted, remove from the heat and add cinnamon, nutmeg, rosemary, ginger and cloves. Set aside.
Place flour in the bowl of an electric standing mixer, using a bread hook attachment. Add salt. Pour in activated yeast mixture, butter mixture, pears and walnuts. Stir on low speed for 10 minutes. The dough will eventually clean all sides of the bowl and pull almost all the way away from the bottom. The dough is extremely soft. Place dough in a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. In a warm location, let dough rise for at least 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
When the dough has doubled in size, place on a floured surface and knead by hand for 2 minutes. Coat the bottom of a large Dutch oven with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Place dough in the pot, using a sharp knife slice a deep cross into the dough. Drizzle with 3 more tablespoons of olive oil. Cover with a tight fitting lid and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and reduce the heat to 400 degrees. Bake for another 15 minutes until golden brown.
makes about 1 cup
6 Bosc pears, cored, peeled and cut into large chunks
zest of 1 lemon
1 vanilla bean
½ cup sugar
Make sure to use a heavy-bottomed pan. Place all ingredients and ¼ cup water over low heat and cook down for 2 hours until the fruit is very soft. Every once in a while I give it a good stir. Remove the vanilla bean. Now you can either puree using a hand immersion blender, a food processor, or leave chunky and simply use a potato style masher. Pour into canning jars leaving a ½ inch at the top. Remove air bubbles by running a butter knife along the inside of the jar and seal with the lid. The butter will last up to 4 weeks.