I have been making some really good bread, with my basic white dough.
Great pizza, lovely bread for sandwiches
A good all round dough.
A friend of mine asked if I had a recipe for raisin bread.
So I thought about it and came up with this recipe.
It might seem a little finicky but seriously worth it.
A few hints for good bread
Always make sure your dough is moist, rather than dry
Don’t add too much extra flour
Even though it seems to be too wet, when you add the fruit.
It will knead out
And only takes 5 minutes or so.
Total time around 3 hours from flour to bread.
BUT most of this time is proving and cooking time
About 20 minutes max
So for 1 loaf
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 mixed spice
1 tsp sugar
1tbs olive oil
200 mls hand hot water
Keep about 50 mls extra aside in case you need it
1 pkt dry yeast
40 g currants
100 mls boiling water
Dissolve sugar in 200 mls of hand hot water
Add oil and yeast
Stir and leave to froth up about 5 minutes
Meanwhile put flour, salt, sugar, mixed spice into food processor
Whiz a couple of seconds
Add yeast mixture
Whiz again, it should form a ball almost straight away
And come away from the sides
If not add a little more water a tablespoon at a time
Leave it to sit and relax about 5 minutes
Tip out onto bench and stretch it out
It should be really soft not too dry
Turn into a ball and place in an oiled bowl
Slash a cross on the top with a sharp knife
Cover with a tea towel or plastic wrap
Leave to rise
to plump them up
When the dough has doubled in size, about 1 hour
Tip onto bench again
Stretch out again
Strain fruit and put in middle of dough.
Fold edges over and let sit for another 30 minutes
Back onto lightly floured bench... keep some extra flour on the bench
You will need this flour, the mixture will be quite wet
Don’t worry about the fruit going all over the bench
Just keep folding it over, bringing the errant fruit in, till it is blended
adding a little more flour, as you need it
Onto lightly floured bench again
Last time, I promise!
Pat out to a square
Bring the sides into the middle
Just like a little parcel
Put the little parcel into a greased and floured loaf tin
Seam side down
Push the edges down, to get a rounded shape
It will double in size again
While this is happening
Pre-heat the oven to 210C
Slash a pattern across the top
Gives a nice appearance
Sprinkle with flour
Put bread into oven
Check after 20 minutes
It will probably need another 5-10 minutes
Just use your eyes and nose
It should be golden brown and smell delicious
Let cool in tin for a few minutes, then leave to cool on a wire rack
Fresh…Just smother with a bit of lovely butter