Oatmeal Tea Bread redux: An Adventure In Toasted Walnuts

Toasted Walnuts

I have a confession to make: I have never toasted nuts before.

I generally don’t cook with nuts, either, and part of that is my own texture preference. I like nuts, but I don’t love biting into something crunchy and resistant in the middle of something nice and cakey. I don’t usually bake with chocolate chunks for the same reason. But I will also admit that I have read, many times, that to bake with nuts successfully you have to toast them first, and for some reason, I found the idea of toasting them just intimidating enough to discourage me.

Of course I used to feel that way about zesting, and now I am a zester extraordinaire.  So when Linus requested something with nuts in it, I rose to the challenge, which turned out to be not much of a challenge after all, and quite rewarding.

I asked if she wanted brownies, cookies, bars, muffins, what? She said, “Um…can you make that oatmeal tea bread again and put them in there?” Well I’m a sucker for a compliment too, and I love that oatmeal tea bread, so I readily agreed.

Step one: Go to the store, buy everything you came for except the walnuts. Leave the store. Turn around and go back in. Sheepishly purchase chopped walnuts. Head home.

Step two: Spread walnuts on a cookie sheet.

raw walnuts on cookie sheet

Step two: Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Step three: Put tray of walnuts into the oven. Poke them with a wooden spoon every few minutes.

Step four: After about ten minutes, sniff. Does it smell like lovely toasted walnuts? Yes? Remove.

Now I had toasted walnuts. Then all I had to do was make the oatmeal tea bread. It all went well until I ran out of applesauce, so I supplemented with vanilla yogurt.

Here’s the batter, pre-walnuts.


I wasn’t sure how much to add, so I looked at a few loaf recipes, and they seemed to suggest that half a cup was the right amount. In they went.

pouring in walnuts

I sprinkled some on top as well, after I added the oats/cinnamon/brown sugar layer. It came out of the oven looking pretty good.

finished oatmeal tea bread with nuts

Since Linus was out & about, Charlotte & Katie & I took the liberty of cutting it open and tasting it.

slice of oatmeal tea bread with walnuts

Delicious! And an open door to a new world of nuts, for the nuts I love so much.

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