Monday, January 17, 2011

Cranberry, Raisin, and Walnut Whole Wheat Bread

This is another bread inspired by the Julee Rosso & Shelia Lukins' New Basics Cookbook. I had so much success and good feedback last time, that I figured I would try something with a similar method to the herb and olive loaf. Unfortunately, this didn't turn out quite perfect. The recipes in the book usually make 2 loaves, which I have been halving, because I don't have the kneed (bread pun!) for both. This time I decided to stick with the written recipe and make 2 loaves, save one and bring one to a party. I guess failure is what happens when you get too confident. I think I went wrong in the very beginning with a water/milk mixture that was not warm enough because my yeast didn't bubble up like it usually does. The rises were only about 1.5x instead of 2x the size, and I let them go for 3 hrs the first time and 1.5 hrs the second time. Ultimately, I ended up with 2 very dense loaves, and neither could come to the party with me. I froze one in hope that I will think of something yummy to do with it (super heavy bread pudding??),  and I have been using the other for some very hearty morning toast. In case you want to try the recipe, and hopefully have better luck than I did, see below.
Cranberry, Raisin, and Walnut Whole Wheat Bread

1 package (2 1/4 t) active dry yeast
1 c warm water
1 c milk
1/2 c + 2 T cornmeal
3 T butter
1 c cranberries
1.5 c raisins
2 c chopped walnuts
1 t cracked black pepper
2 t salt
2 T sugar
2 c whole wheat Flour
2 1/2 to 3 c All-Purpose flour

Dissolve yeast in milk and water in a large bowl, about 5 min.
Add remaining ingredients except 2 T of cornmeal and 1 c of all-Purpose flour.
Stir with wooden spoon to combine. Move dough to lightly floured surface and kneed to 2-3 min, incorporating remaining flour until a workable dough is formed.

Let rest for 10 min. Kneed for 8- 10 min until dough is smooth and elastic, adding flour to  surface to keep from sticking. Form into a ball.

Oil a large bowl and turn dough in it to keep from sticking. Cover with kitchen towel and put in a warm place. Let rise till doubled, about 1.5 hrs.

Punch the dough down, divide in two, and form into two  round loaf. Sprinkle baking sheet with remaining cornmeal and put loaves, seem side down on sheet. Cover with towel and let rise until doubled for about 45 min - 1 hr.

Bake in a 350° F oven for 45 min until browned. They should sound hollow when you tap them. Set on a wire rack to cool (or slice and enjoy warm).
Makes two loaves.

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