As someone who doesn't bake a lot of bread, take it from me when I tell you this bread is pretty simple to make. It was well received at our house; in fact Mark thinks it is one of the best loaves of bread he has ever had.
I'm blogging this all from memory as I have three posts to catch up on, so I can't remember exactly what all goes into the making of this bread. Here's what I do remember:
The bread calls for a little bit of vital wheat gluten to give it a lightness and peppiness. Since I wasn't sure I was ever going to bake this bread again, I didn't want to buy a huge bag of wheat gluten and have it sitting around going bad. So Eliot and I took a trip to the Bob's Red Mill store, where not only do they sell everything they make, which is far more than I've ever seen in one grocery store, but they also have a pretty comprehensive bulk section of all their products. Here I bought the tiny amount of wheat gluten called for and then got a little carried away buying things like dried beans, nuts, rice, polenta, hot cereal, and sanding sugar. Oh, and peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. We even saw the Bob himself, who after doing some meet and greets went up to the mezzanine (they also have a casual restaurant on site) and played the piano and sang. A very entertaining afternoon.
The dough is quite sticky but mine wasn't as sticky as some of the Alpha Bakers. It gets a couple of rises before shaping, one more rise, then off to the oven to bake.
Eliot didn't love the walnuts but did like the bread, especially with a copious amount of butter. I was ambivalent about the walnuts but loved the bread anyways. It was good with butter, with fresh avocado, with cheddar cheese, and dipped into our pork and bean stew. Like I said, Mark was over the moon for it and loved the earthiness of the walnuts. He made the stew specifically to go with bread, and was very happy. He told me he'd be happy if I baked that every week. I told him maybe one day that would be a possibility.