Raisin Bread © llizard aka ejm 2002

When I was little, we always had SunMaid California raisins. Sometimes for special treats, we got SunMaid California raisin bread.

Ingredients makes two loaves Preparation
  1. In a smallish bowl, mix yeast with ¼ c warm water (do the baby's bottle test on your wrist) and let sit til creamy.

  2. Melt butter and set aside to cool.

  3. In a large bowl, whisk milk powder, egg, honey, brown sugar, cinnamon into the rest of the water. Stir in cooled butter.

  4. Add the yeast mixture, all the whole wheat flour and all but ½ c allpurpose flour to the wet ingredients, stirring enough to encorporate it to make a rough dough. Cover with plastic and leave for 20 - 30 minutes.

  5. Turn dough out onto floured board (use some of the remaining ½ c flour for kneading). Sprinkle the salt on top of the dough and let the dough sit for a few minutes as you wash and dry the mixing bowl.

  6. Knead dough til smooth and elastic - 10 to 15 minutes. Add as little flour as possible to keep dough from sticking (not much more than ½ c). This dough is quite soft.

  7. Put dough into the clean dry mixing bowl that will hold triple the volume of the dough. Cover with plastic and let rise at room temperature til the dough has doubled (about an hour). A good way to tell if it has doubled is to wet your finger and poke a hole in the top of the dough. If the hole fills up, it hasn't risen enough. If there is a whoosh of air and the dough deflates a little, it has risen too much. If the hole stays in exactly the same configuration and the dough remains otherwise intact, it is ju-u-st right.

  8. When the dough has doubled, gently deflate it. Cover with plastic and allow to double again.

  9. When the dough has doubled the second time, turn the dough out onto a floured board. Divide into 2 equal pieces. Then shape into flat rectangles and roll like jelly rolls to make 2 loaves. Put them seam side down in parchment paper covered bread tins. Cover with plastic or a damp towel and let rise at warm room temperature for about 45 minutes (til almost double). To test if it has risen enough, flour your finger and press gently on the edge - it should very slowly spring back. For comparison, try pressing early on to see how it quickly springs back when the dough has not risen enough.

  10. A half hour before baking, turn the oven to 400F.

  11. Just before baking, slather the tops of loaves with water. Put the bread on the second from the bottom shelf of the oven, turn the oven down to 375F and bake for about 30 to 40 minutes til golden and hollow sounding on the bottom.

  12. Remove from pans and cool on rack on counter. Wait til the bread is cool before cutting it.
This bread is wonderful thinly sliced and toasted.

based on www.sunmaid.com's recipe for Cinnamon Raisin Bread

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