Raisin Bread

This is a recipe adapted from the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day Master Recipe.  Adapted may be too strong a word.  I added 3/4 tablespoon of cinnamon and some raisins to a half batch.  Japanese bakeries often sell small heavy loaves of raisin bread.  I love them and thus tried to make something similar.  It was a success – everything I had dreamed of.

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Raisin Bread (Half Batch)

Makes two one pound loaves

From the Master Recipe in Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

1 1/2 cups lukewarm water

3/4 tablespoon yeast

3/4 tablespoon kosher or other coarse salt

3 1/4 unsifted, unbleached, all-purpose flour measured roughly

3/4 tablespoon cinnamon powder

A handful of raisins per loaf

Mix the water, yeast and salt in a large bowl.  I like to use a whisk.   Mix in the flour and cinnamon (I mixed the cinnamon into one of the middle cups before adding to the water) in to the water/yeast mixture and stir until combined.  The dough should be uniformly moist with no dry patches. You do not need to knead.  Allow to rise for two hours or until the dough has risen and flattened out on top.  During the rising, keep the dough lidded or covered with saran wrap but not airtight (leave a small part of the opening uncovered).   After rising the dough can be used immediately or refrigerated for up to 14 days.  It is easiest to work with after it has been refrigerated for 3+ hours.

Cut off a pound of dough and shape into a ball by stretching the sides of the dough out and gathering them on the bottom.  The top should be smooth.  Sprinkle with flour and place on a lightly floured surface.  Roll into a rectangle and sprinkle with raisins.  Roll up like you would cinnamon buns.  I then joined the two ends together to make a ring.  It looked a lot like a giant bagel.  Let rest for forty minutes.IMG_0541

Twenty minutes before you are ready to bake, preheat the oven and baking stone to 450F  (I do 200C in my small convection oven). Place a boiler tray in the rack below (in my case a metal cup of water).  Score the top of the bread to allow for rising.  Just before putting the bread into bake, pour boiling water into the boiling tray to create a steaming effect.  Bake for 30 minutes (20 in my oven) until golden brown and sounds hollow when you knock on the bottom.  Cool completely before eating to allow the bread to finish baking inside.

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