Thursday, April 25, 2013

Wonderful Raisin Bread!

I'd had such good results with my latest sandwich bread recipe that I had to try a variation… and after a couple tries I got it right!!

  15 oz Bread Flour (by weight)
  1 1/2 tsp Salt
  6 oz very warm Water (hot as your tap will get it)
  3 oz very warm Milk (I use my tiny microwave for 55 seconds)
  1 1/2 tsp Active Dry Yeast
  1 1/2 Tbl Honey
  1 1/2 tsp Olive Oil
  1/4 cup Brown Sugar
  1/4 cup Raisins
  1 1/2 tsp good quality Cinnamon (I like Penzey's Vietnamese)
  1/4 tsp freshly grated Nutmeg
  1/8 tsp freshly grated Cloves
  1 Tbl Butter, divided

You will also need:
  Spray Olive Oil
  Large (7 cup) sealing plastic container (Ziploc ones work great)
  Additional Bread Flour for hand kneading & forming (after first rise)
  Loaf Pan
  Parchment Paper to line the loaf pan (use those Origami skills)

In the bowl of a stand mixer (instructions based on my Kitchenaid model, you can hand mix & knead if you're so inclined) place: Bread Flour and Salt - hand mix these together to combine, then create a bowl-shaped space in the middle for the wet ingredients.  

Put hot Water & Milk in the bowl-shaped space, sprinkle the surface of the liquid with the Yeast, allow Yeast to dissolve for about a minute and then stir it in to the milk/water.

Add Olive Oil & Honey, then mix all the ingredients together using the mixing paddle on the mixer on the slowest speed, for about 10-15 seconds.  Remove the mixing paddle & replace with the dough hook.  Cover the bowl with a towel and let sit for 30 minutes (autolyse).

Knead the dough using the stand mixer, I set my model to about 2-3 (a low setting) and let it knead for about 2-3 minutes.

Spray the plastic container & inside of lid with Olive Oil, remove the dough from the mixer and put it in the container, press down, spray the top of the dough with Olive Oil, close the container and wrap it in a tea towel.  Let the dough rise in the container in a warm area (I like 72F) for about 35 minutes, or until the dough is doubled in size - you may need to burp the container a couple times, you may also hear it "pop" if it burps itself.

While the dough is rising mix together the brown sugar & spices.

Turn out the dough onto a well floured board, knead lightly and flatten into a rectangle with the short sides being a little narrower than your loaf pan.  Spread 1/2 of the Tablespoon of Butter on the dough, top with the brown sugar/spice mixture, top with the raisins.

Starting at one of the short ends, roll the dough into a loaf.  Place the loaf in the parchment paper lined loaf pan, spray with Olive Oil, cover with a tea towel and let it proof for an hour.  At the start of the proofing set the oven to 350F, this will ensure the oven is at the proper temperature.

After the loaf is raised melt the other 1/2 Tablespoon of Butter, brush the top of the loaf (don't split the top for raisin bread).  Bake for 45 minutes at 350F.  When baking is complete remove the loaf from the oven, remove the parchment paper and allow to cool well before slicing (slightly warm is fine).

This type of loaf keeps best in the refrigerator, it is wonderful sliced and toasted for breakfast.

My first attempt had about twice the amount of sugar/spice/raisins & was wonderful but more like a cinnamon roll loaf than raisin bread… I think I see a cinnamon roll loaf in my future.  Until then, enjoy!!

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