Plump raisins, cinnamon, pecans and walnuts make up this very satisfying and tasty bread. Plan to make it the day before t...
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This bread was outstanding. I made one 6" round loaf and one 9"x5" loaf. I gave the round one to family and the first 3 instant comments were Amazing, Awesome and How will we ever keep ourselves from eating the whole loaf at once!
I left out the cinnamon because of personal preference and used chopped hazelnuts as I had them on hand. I toasted them whole (another personal preference) before chopping very roughly.
Also, I added the 1 1/2 tsp portion of required sugar to the yeast to help activate it more vigorously. (Just a personal thing and not necessary). I must confess to using my stand mixer and mixed on low speed with paddle to incorporate the ingredients and then the dough hook on speed 2 for about 6 minutes. Then added nuts for 1 minute and raisins for another minute. I did knead a bit more by hand and tried to cover the raisins and nuts as much as possible to prevent them burning. They sure kept wanting to pop out:)
The overnight ferment really adds to the flavor. I proofed the loaves in a warm room and found that the loaf pan required 30 minutes more proofing time than the round loaf. A little trick I use when proofing 2 loaves on top of one pan is to cut the parchment paper a few inches wider than the pan and fold in half. Than lay out the parchment and raise the middle fold up a few inches to make an upside down "V". Flour the sides of the loaves to prevent sticking. When you are ready to bake, pull the parchment paper on each side and it will give room for the loaves to spread in the oven without touching each other.
Everyone rated this bread a 5 star winner.
I meant to mention that it is important to fluff up the flour before measuring as it can get compacted in the bag. Results can vary greatly if you try to pack it in. I used a bit more than 5 cups when mixing and some more added at the end with the final hand kneading. I have already had a call to start making more of this bread as they finished the first loaf already. Happy baking:)
I agree, weighing ingredients definitely produces consistent results. That being said, many of the recipes on Rouxbe force you to apply the techniques learned in the Cooking School; one of which is being able to put together a loaf of bread and produce the correct texture based on the feeling of the dough.
As you come across recipes (and there are many out there) that indicate volume measurements, rather than measurements by weight, you will still be able to produce great results because you understand the technique behind bringing the ingredients together. This is why many grandma's out there never weigh...they just use a "little bit of this and a little bit of that" and magically wind up with delicious baked goods because they know what to feel and look for. Even when you measure ingredients, pay close attention to how the dough feels...so if you are ever stranded in a forest with some flour, salt, yeast and a wood burning oven (but not a scale), you'll be able to put together a good loaf of bread without a recipe :) Cheers!