1. Dissolve the yeast in the water, when
dissolved stir in a cup of flour. This can be done a day or so
ahead of making the dough. The storage will have an effect on
the flavour. Using less yeast and allowing time for the flour
to start will improve the flavour. This is called the sponge.
2. In a bowl add the 2 1/2 cups of flour, salt and crushed walnuts. You can crush the walnuts with a rolling pin, or the flat side of a large knife. Stir ingredients together, then add the flour and water sponge.
Mix all together and knead until smooth and slightly sticky. Adjust with water or flour to get the dough how you like it. A wet dough tends to rise better.
3. Put the dough in the bowl to one side to allow the first rise. The longer you allow the rise to take, the better the loaves will be. So rising in a cool place is recommended.
4. After the dough has risen to at least double in size, punch it down and allow to rise again.
5. When the dough has risen for the second time, punch it down and split into two. Make each of the two dough lumps into balls and rest on a floured surface to allow the final rise, in a warm room, this will take about an hour.
5. When the dough is close to double inside put in an oven at 375 F. Spray water in the oven after the loaves are inside and bake for 25 to 35 minutes until the loaves start to brown and sound hollow when tapped.
Cool the loaves on a rack for about an hour before slicing.