Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin Bread

This is my first foray in Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads. You may remember that I made my own raisin bread recipe, but it is made from white flour. This is a 100% whole wheat recipe that it so tasty it is rather like eating cake. The boys absolutely love it and kick off their day with a nice hearty slice for breakfast. I will warn you that it does take 2 days to make, but it is totally worth it. Letting the dough sit brings out the flavour of the grain and makes for a softer and tastier loaf. The recipe calls for an egg, so I used a flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax + 3 tbsp water. Let sit for a few mins, then whisk until thickened). You can find the recipe here.

UPDATE: I kept wondering why I had to add way more flour to the dough than Reinhart calls for. Instead of elastic and kneadable, the dough was wet and sticky. Now, you will notice in the pic above that you can't see many raisins in the raisin bread. That's because the raisins are put in the soaker. When they are kneaded into the final dough, they break down, upping the moisture content in the dough, and making it more sticky. So, to solve that problem, I made the following adjustments.

- Add only 1/4 cup of raisins to the soaker.
- Optional: add 1 tbsp of wheat gluten to the biga.
Final Dough:
- Soak remaining 3/4 cup of raisins in hot water for 15 mins while you mix the other ingredients and bring together the dough. Drain and dry raisins, then sprinkle with flour. Gently knead into the dough and proceed with the rest of the recipe.