Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Raisin Walnut Bread

"Good bread is the most fundamentally satisfying of all foods; and good bread with fresh butter, the greatest of feasts."
James Beard (1903-1985)

And if that good bread has dried fruits and walnuts, all the better!
This is a simple loaf to make, rich with milk and studded with fruit and nuts. It is as happy at your breakfast table as it would be encompassing your lunchtime fare.
Hopefully, for your sake, you are better at braiding than me. No worries though, this loaf is very forgiving of us incompetent braiders, it tastes wonderful no matter how you shape it. ☺

Raisin Walnut Bread
adapted from Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Breads
for bbd #35 - Breads with Dry Fruits hosted by Taste of Pearl City
Deadline: January 1st, 2011 

3 - 3½ cups AP flour
2 tsp instant dry yeast
¼ cup sugar
1 tsp salt
½ cup nonfat dry milk powder
1¼ cups hot water (120°-130°F)
¼ cup shortening, room temp
½ cup each raisins and walnuts
(my raisins were a mix of light, dark, and dried cranberries)

1 egg, beaten, for egg wash

  • Line a baking sheet with parchment or silpat.
  • In stand mixer bowl, mix 1½ cups of the flour with all the rest of the dry ingredients. Pour in hot water and add the shortening. Beat for 2 minutes. Add the rest of the flour, in ¼ cup intervals, until a nice dough is formed. You may not need all the flour. Make sure the fruit and nuts are evenly distributed. 
  • Form into a ball and let rise for 1½ hours. (Covered)
  • Divide dough into 3 portions. Let rest 10 minutes. 
  • Roll each portion into a snake about 20 inches long. 
  • Braid, from the center. 
  • Lay out on lined baking sheet, making sure ends are well tucked, and let rise 1 hour. (Covered)
  • 20 mins before baking, preheat oven to 375°F
  • Brush with egg wash and bake for about 25 minutes or until nicely golden. 
  • Let cool on wire rack.
This bread has been Yeastspotted!
Bread Baking Day #35 - Bread with dry fruits (last day of submission January 1st 2011)