Raisin Pecan Bread

Hello Bakers!

Who doesn’t love warm, crusty, homemade bread?

This artisan loaf is practically a meal in itself and when I bake this for my family, it becomes the centerpiece of our day.

Baked breads with their crusty outsides, and dense and chewy inside, and studded with moist raisins, and or dried cranberries, dried apricots, and soft crunch of nuts, adds to a prefectly pleasing bread. It could be desert, spread with butter or cream cheese, or just plain. It’s a terrific bread!

Making this loaf may should like an investment of your time, but it’s worth it.

Let’s Bake!

Raisin Pecan Bread

Raisins

1 cup/ 144 grams raisins

⅓ cup/78 grams hot water

Place raisins in a small bowl and add the water. Cover and let sit for 30 minutes. Then drain, reserving the liquid into a 1-cup liquid measure, add enough water to equal 1 cup. Set aside.

Dough Starter

1 cup/156 grams bread flour

½ teaspoon/1.6 grams dry yeast

1 cup/ 236 grams water (including raisin soaking water) room temperature

1 tablespoon/21 grams malt syrup or honey

In a large bowl, place the bread flour, yeast, water, and malt or honey.  Whisk until very smooth, to incorporate air, about 2 minutes. The batter should be thick, set aside, covered with plastic wrap.

Flour Mixture

1 ¼ cup/196 grams bread flour

⅓ cup/50 grams whole wheat flour

¾ teaspoon/2.4 grams dry yeast

½ cup/42.7 grams pecans, finely ground

1 ¼ teaspoon/8.3 grams salt

1 tablespoon/13.5 grams vegetable oil

1 ½ cups/150 grams pecan halves, coarsely broken

Combine all the ingredients for the flour mixture and add it to the starter. 

In a medium bowl, combine 1 cup/156 grams bread flour, whole wheat flour, yeast, and ground pecans. Mix together the flour mixture and starter, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to ferment for 1 to 4 hours.

Using your stand-up mixture, add the dough and add oil to the mixer bowl, with the dough hook on low (#2 if using a KitchenAid) process for 1 minute, until the flour and oil form a soft dough ball. Cover the bowl, allowing the dough to rest for 20 minutes. 

Sprinkle on the salt and knead the dough on medium speed (#4) for 7 minutes. The dough should be smooth and elastic. If after 3 minutes, the dough appears sticky, add the remaining ¼ cup of flour, a tablespoon at a time. Cover and let rest 10 minutes.

Roll the dough into a rectangle about 10 inches by 15 inches.  Sprinkle the drained raisins and pecans evenly over the dough.  Starting from the shorter end, roll up the dough, in jelly-roll fashion. 

Then, form the dough into a ball and knead it lightly. After the raisins are added, the dough will become a little tacky and will need a little more extra flour. 

Place the dough into a greased container, covered plastic wrap, lightly sprayed with oil. Allow rising 1 ½ to 2 hours.

Transfer dough to a lightly floured counter, and shape into a rectangle about 10-to-11-inches long.

Fold the top corner of dough into the center of the rectangle and press gently to seal.  Stretch and fold up an upper third of dough again, towards the center and press seam gently to seal.

Stretch and fold the dough to form roughly a loaf on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover loosely with greased plastic and let rise until loaf increases in size by about half and dough springs back, about 30 minutes to 1 hour. 

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat the oven to 400 degrees while the dough is rising. Place a cast-iron skillet or a sheet pan on the floor of the oven to preheat. 

Remove the plastic and allow the dough to sit for 5 minutes before scoring the top. Dust the top of the bread with flour before using a sharp knife or single-edged razor blade, make ¼ to ½ inch deep parallel slashes in the top of the dough.  

Gently add the loaf into the oven, toss ½ cup of ice cubes into the pan beneath.  Immediately shut dor, and bake for 10 minutes,  Lower the temperature to 375 degrees and continue to bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until golden and center reads 190 degrees. 

Thanks for stopping by…

Enjoy every bite!

Eileen~

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