Photo: Ellen Silverman; Styling: Toni Brogan
2 loaves, 16 servings per loaf

This walnut bread recipe yields two loaves, which means you can make one for yourself and give one away with preserves as a tasty gift. Serve any leftovers toasted with a spot of butter and jam.

How to Make It

Step 1

Place oats in a food processor; pulse 8 times or until coarsely chopped. Combine chopped oats and 1 cup boiling water in a medium bowl; let stand 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Step 2

Dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer; let stand 5 minutes. Add buttermilk to oat mixture, stirring to combine. Stir in honey and oil. Add the oat mixture to yeast mixture; mix with dough hook attachment until combined. Weigh or lightly spoon 5 ounces all-purpose flour (about 3 cups) and whole-wheat pastry flour in dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flours with salt. Add flour mixture to buttermilk mixture. Mix dough at medium speed 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic, adding remaining all-purpose flour, 1/4 cup at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to sides of bowl. Add walnuts; mix at medium speed just until combined.

Step 3

Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in size. (Gently press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, the dough has risen enough.)

Step 4

Preheat oven to 400°.

Step 5

Punch dough down; divide in half. Divide each half into 3 equal portions. Working with 1 portion at a time (cover remaining dough to keep from drying), shape each portion into a 14-inch rope. Place 3 ropes lengthwise on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray (do not stretch). Pinch ends together at one end to seal. Braid ropes, and pinch loose ends together to seal. Repeat procedure with remaining dough to form another braid. Cover and let rise 30 minutes or until doubled in size.

Step 6

Spritz top and sides of loaves lightly with water from a spray bottle. Bake on center rack of oven at 400° for 28 minutes or until deep golden brown. Remove from pan; cool on wire rack.

Chef's Notes

MyRecipes is working with Let's Move!, the Partnership for a Healthier America, and USDA's MyPlate to give anyone looking for healthier options access to a trove of recipes that will help them create healthy, tasty plates. For more information about creating a healthy plate, visit

Ratings & Reviews

Takes time

August 21, 2015
As with most bread recipes this takes time. I didn't find the bread amazing like the others did. It was good, but there's other breads I would make before this one. Here's my blog post on it:

fairydragonstar's Review

November 27, 2011
Made this to go with the apple-blue cheese chutney from November 2011 and it was fantastic........the flavor was wonderful and made a good addition to the meal..we ate it for breakfast and it was supper easy to make I did not braid it as I was in a hurry and I actually stuck it in the fridge to rise over night so I could make it in the morning

AnnaBird's Review

October 08, 2011
Great recipe! The nutty flavor was perfect.

eatyourheartout's Review

December 01, 2010
I was looking for a bread to make for Thanksgiving last year, and this one sounded perfect. I'm Vegan, though, and don't eat wheat, so I had to make a couple of adjustments. I made a Vegan Soy buttermilk, substituted whole spelt flour for the wheat, used Organic Sunflower oil, and added 2 Tbsp. of chopped fresh rosemary. It was (is) amazing. Rave reviews from family and friends. It is now a sure holiday tradition.

detailaddict's Review

April 17, 2010
I've made this twice using all white whole wheat flour, and it turned out better the second time. The first time I followed the recipe but with the extra bran in the flour it didn't rise much. The second time I sponged half the flour and the yeast in the hot liquid for 20 minutes before proceeding with the rest of the recipe and it turned out much better. I also dispensed with the parchment paper as it caused the loaves to brown too quickly on a stone pan. This makes a down-to-earth yet elegant loaf that works nicely with breakfast, stew or with more formal meals - and makes pretty gifts! I will definitely keep this recipe in mind in the future.

Brittiny's Review

April 12, 2010
Absolutely amazing. I'll make this recipe again and again. Warning though--it is a little time consuming. Totally worth it!

fooddancer's Review

January 19, 2010
WOW! I love to make bread but have tried many uninspiring recipes lately - no favorites. Well, finally, here's the favorite!!! It's a light, delciously flavored wheat bread. The walnuts give a hint of heartiness (and protein) without me (or my kids) even noticing. I dd feel like the walnuts take longer to mix in than the recipe implies. I will make this again and again and again. I think I'll try using a light wheat flour in place of the white flour next time, just to increase the amount of whole grain. But as it is, this is wonderful bread.

jackieNF's Review

December 11, 2009
This was the best whole wheat bread I have ever made, and probably the best I have ever had. It had a great texture and stayed moist for several days. It was great with pimento cheese. I sliced it very thinly and made toasts to eat with soup. Everyone loved it. I cut the loaves in half and froze them. It was just as good thawed and toasted. I always have yogurt on hand, so I used half milk and half yogurt instead of buttermilk. I am making it again as of this review.

rachelcooks's Review

November 14, 2009
This bread is certainly gift-able! I followed the recipe exactly and YUM.

Teagal's Review

November 02, 2009
When I saw this bread in the magazine I knew I wanted to make it. Not only is it pretty, it's delicious. I made it with CL Golden Winter Soup and ate it through out the week for lunch. It is worthy of serving to company or gift giving. I froze the second loaf. I don't own a stand mixer so I made it in my Cuisinart in divided portions. Next time I'll probably just knead it by hand. I proofed the yeast to make sure it was active.