Thursday, 24 January 2013

WHOLE WHEAT RAISIN WALNUT BREAD


A very delicious and nutritious whole wheat bread, loaded with raisins and walnuts, with a crunchy, sweet taste. The kind of bread you can't say no to. Freshly baked bread on a winter's day, what a special treat!


First off, I bought a bag of 10-grain bread mix, which is made by Bob's Red Mill and makes great bread. This brand can be found at most supermarkets and it can also be ordered through Amazon. I added some whole wheat flour, some high gluten bread flour, some sunflower seeds, and some wheat germ. By the time I got through combining, I think my bowl contained pretty much every type of flour available. This was a very easy bread to make; I just had to be patient while the dough was rising. The wait was worth it!  


Ingredients:

1 bag (19 ounces) 10-grain bread mix (remove the yeast package that comes inside the bag)
10 ounces whole wheat flour
6 ounces bread flour
5 tablespoons sunflower seeds
4 tablespoons wheat germ
 tablespoons active dried yeast (use the envelope that comes with the bread mix, that’s one tablespoon, and then use more active dry yeast from your own supply)  
4 tablespoons honey
Approximately 20 ounces of warm water
8 ounces roughly chopped walnuts
6 ounces raisins
some bread flour for dusting


Directions:
  • In a large bowl mix the flours with the sunflower seeds, wheat germ and salt. Add the walnuts and raisins and mix again.
  • In a small bowl, using a spoon, mix the yeast, honey and warm water until well incorporated.   
  • Add the yeast mixture to the flour and knead by hand. When a dough has formed turn onto a surface sprinkled with bread flour and start kneading. 
  • Add a little extra water if needed to produce a soft but not too sticky dough, or add a little flour if the dough is too sticky. Continue kneading until the dough is smooth and springs back when pressed with a finger.
  • Place in a large bowl, brush the top with a little oil and cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel.  
  • Leave in a warm place and let rise until the dough has almost doubled in size. For me, it took 4 hours. It was a very cold day, with the temperature around 20°F. The kitchen was warm, but I think the low outside temperature had an impact on the time it took for the dough to rise. 
  • Lightly dust with bread flour and knead again, pressing down on the bubbles that have been created in the dough.
  • Preheat the oven to 325°F/150°C.
  • Shape into loaves, and lay on a baking sheet that has been sprinkled with a little bread flour or cornmeal. Sprinkle the loaves with some flour and score them. Cover and let rise for about an hour.
  • Place the tray on the middle shelf of the oven, spray the interior of the oven with a quick spritz of water (or place a small ovenproof dish filled with water on the floor of the oven).  
  • Close the oven door and immediately raise the temperature to 350°F/180°C.
  • Bake for 30–35 minutes or until crisp and dark golden in colour.