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Walnut Raisin Bread

It’s been snowing now for 24 continuous hours. One of the best snowfalls I’ve seen in years. Feet and feet of snow – with drifts over 5 feet. It’s incredible.

I started shoveling the drive but said hell with it less than a third of the way out. I don’t have to be anywhere until Tuesday afternoon. I’ll take my time.

Food-wise, we’re doing well. Scones for breakfast, meatball sandwiches for lunch, and pork chops for dinner – with a loaf of walnut raisin bread. The bread definitely took the blue ribbon – it’s one of the better ones I’ve made. Really crunchy crust with a perfectly light crumb. Just enough walnuts and golden raisins for sweetness and a bit of extra crunch. I slathered three slices with butter during dinner.

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And, because man does not live by bread alone – although there are times when I almost do – we had pork chops with a balsamic reduction for the actual dinner.

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Just browned in a skillet, pulled out, added chicken broth and balsamic vinegar, boiled it down a bit, added the chops back in to finish cooking, and then reduced the juices a bit more. Really simple.

Dessert is going to be Pecan Pie, because… what the heck. It’s still snowing!

One thing to note about the bread – it needs a starter, so make sure you make the starter the day before you want to make the bread!

Walnut Raisin Bread

starter

  • 2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 3/4 cup water 110°
  • 1 3/4 cups flour

Sprinkle yeast into the warm water. Stir to dissolve. Stir in flour. Cover bowl with clean towel and leave at room temperature for 2-3 days.

dough

  • 1 tsp active dry yeast
  • 3/4 cup water 110°
  • 1 cup starter
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup rye flour
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

Sprinkle yeast into water in mixing bowl. Stir to dissolve. Add starter, flours, and salt.

Mix on low speed with dough hook for about 5 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic. Add raisins and walnuts and continue mixing another 5 or so minutes.Knead by hand for a minute or two on a lightly-floured surface to make sure the nuts and raisins are evenly distributed.. Place the dough into a clean bowl and cover with a kitchen towel.

Let rise until doubled – up to 2 hours. Punch dough down and let rest for about 10 minutes before forming the loaf.

Shape the dough into a cylindrical loaf and place on a bread peel generously coated with coarse cornmeal. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise again until doubled – about an hour.

Preheat oven with baking stone to 425°.

Dust loaf with flour and then make three parallel slashes across the top. Slide dough onto stone and bake for about 1 hour.

Replenish starter with about 3/4 cup flour and 1/2 cup water.

Oh… AND… I won the snow pool at work. I said 19″.

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