Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Cecily Brownstone's Raisin Walnut Bread

1 pkg. dry yeast
1 1/4 cups warm water
3 Tbsps. butter, soft
1 tsp. salt
1 1/4 cups coarsely chopped walnuts
1 1/4 cups golden raisins
3 1/2 cups (approx.)whole wheat flour---If I have wheat germ on hand I substitute 1/4 cup for 1/4 cup of the flour....

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup of the warm water.

Stir in remaining water, butter, sugar and salt.

Stir in nuts and raisins, then enough of the flour---about 3 cups---to make a firm dough.

Knead on a lightly floured surface about 10 minutes, until smooth and stretchy, working in as much of the remaining 1/2 cup of flour as needed to keep it from sticking.

Form into a ball and place in a greased bowl, turning to grease the top.

Cover and let rise in a warm, draught-free place 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until doubled.

Punch down and divide in half. Form each half into a ball. Do not flatten.

Place well apart on a large, greased baking sheet (I just sprinkle mine with flour or cornmeal, skip the grease.)

Cover with a clean dish towel and let rise, as before, for 45 to 60 minutes or until doubled.

Bake in a pre-heated 400 degree (F) oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.

*Cover with foil during the last 10 minutes to prevent raisins on the surface from overbrowning. (I forgot to do this so had some burnt raisins to deal with---lesson learned!)

Remove loaves to wire rack to cool completely (if you have more patience than I !)

Make a cup of tea. Cut a few slices. Butter lavishly, and enjoy....