What fun to be back in the kitchen! It’s been a fun week with Victor cooking – and a day at the ballpark eating junk food – but it’s always fun to be back making messes. (And some of my messes are legendary!)

Today’s fun was a loaf of Walnut Raisin Bread. I came up with this one several years ago, based upon a basic sourdough I’ve made forever. It’s ridiculously easy to make – and, according to my notes – foolproof.

It needs a starter, so it takes a bit of planning. I made the starter yesterday morning and it was sufficiently-sour for today. It’s a yeast starter – not a wild yeast takes lots of time starter. I had a starter like that for quite a few years and ended up tossing it at some point – maybe a move or something. I don’t really remember, but it may be time to make another one.

Some other day.

In the meantime, we have a great loaf of bread, tonight!

Walnut Raisin Bread


  • 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.


  • 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
  • 1/2 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°.

Make three parallel slashes across the top. Slide dough onto stone and bake for 45 min to 1 hour.

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

I’m thinking that next time I make this I need to do it as an Olive and Pignoli Bread. Dry-cured olives… toasted pine nuts, maybe some garlic and basil?!?

We need to finish this one up, quick!

On another note…

There’s a school of thought that says you should really allow the dough a first rise before adding things like nuts and raisins – it allows the dough to develop before getting bogged down with additions. I’ve never bothered to but it’s something you may want to think about. I also never soak my raisins – although I will for other recipes.

The notes say foolproof… have fun with it!