Another Loaf: Whole Wheat w/ Raisins & Walnuts
This is my first loaf of 2013.
I forgot how much I loved baking bread, thanks to Jim Lahey's book MY BREAD.
This version is his Pane Integrale, but I added golden raisins and walnuts to make this one amazing loaf.
I find in the winter months (as the book says), the rising process took 24 hours, vs. the 18 hour usual rise. So start the process the day before you want to bake the bread.
You can play with the ratio of whole wheat flour vs. regular bread flour. You can add more wheat and less white if you like, just make sure the measurements are the same as the recipe.
I like to dust the bread with cornmeal, it gives it a nice rustic crunchy feel.
Pane Integrale w/ Raisins & Walnuts: (adapted from MY BREAD)
2 1/4 cups (300 grams) of regular bread flour
3/4 cup (100 grams) of whole wheat bread flour
1 1/4 tsp table salt
1/2 tsp instant or dry active yeast
1 1/2 cups of cool (55F) water (original recipe calls for 1 1/3 cups, but my dough was too dry)
big handful of golden raisins
big handful of chopped walnuts
cornmeal or flour for dusting
In a medium bowl, stir together the flours, salt, yeast, raisins and walnuts. Add the water, and using a wooden spoon or your hands, mix until you have a wet, sticky dough, about 30 seconds.
Cover the bowl with a towel or plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature until the surface is dotted with bubbles and the dough is more than doubled in size, 12 to 18 hours (during the winter, this dough took a full 24 hours for the first rise).
When the first rise is complete, generously dust a work surface with flour or cornmeal. Use a bowl scraper or rubber spatula to gently scrape the dough out of the bowl in one piece. Using lightly floured hands or a bowl scraper or spatula, lift the edges of the dough in toward the center. Nudge and tuck in the edges of the dough to make it round.
For the second rise:
Place a cotton tea towel on your work surface and very generously sprinkle it with wheat bran, cornmeal or flour. Gently place the dough on the towel, seam-side down.
If the dough is tacky, dust the top lightly with wheat bran, cornmeal or flour. Fold the ends of the tea towel loosely over the dough to cover and place it in a warm, draft-free spot to rise for 1 to 2 hours. The dough is ready when it is almost doubled. If you gently poke it with your finger, it should hold the impression. If it springs back, let it rise for another 15 minutes.
Thirty minutes before the end of the second rise, preheat the oven to 475F degrees, with a rack positioned in the lower third of the oven, and place a covered 4½-to-5½-quart heavy pot (I use a Le Creuset) in the center of the rack. If using a lid with a plastic handle, be sure that it can tolerate high temperatures. You might have to unscrew it and plug the hole with aluminum foil.
Here is the best tip for baking Jim's breads: make sure you use parchment paper to line the pot.
Unfold the tea towel and quickly but gently invert the dough onto a piece of PARCHMENT PAPER (so the bread doesn't stick in the pot) onto your cutting board, seam-side up, and slip it into the hot pot in the oven, carrying it over on the parchment paper. (Use caution: the pot will be very hot.) Cover the pot and bake for 30 minutes.
Remove the lid and continue baking until the bread is a deep chestnut color but not burned, 15 minutes more. Use a heatproof spatula or potholders to carefully lift the bread out of the pot and place on a rack to cool thoroughly.
Makes one 10-inch-round loaf.
Amazing with some Irish butter swiped on top, or just eaten plain.