Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Wholewheat Honey Raisin Bread

The days are getting too tiring for me with so much to do and no help at all. The house is full of guests and the baby getting spoilt in the presence of grand parents and to top it all, hubby away on a week long tour! What else can I not ask for! Well, staying away from India has made me quite unused to having so many people around and really gets me exhausted thinking and planning the daily schedules. Anyway, in the midst of all this, I badly needed some boost and so went back to my love in the kitchen. All the exhaustion was beautifully kneaded into a dough and to make it better, got superb compliments from my in-laws, who had never before tasted homemade bread. Made my day! The recipe is my own and adapted from my previous bread baking experiences.

1 cup bread flour (you can use all purpose flour and 1 egg)
1 cup wholewheat flour sifted
1/3 cup milk powder (can be replaced with 1/4 cup warm milk and reducing the quantity of warm water equally)
1 cup warm water
1 1/4 tsp instant active dry yeast
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp honey plus extra for brushing
1/3 cup Raisins/Cranberries (add more if you like)
2 tsp olive oil plus a more for oiling the dough

Mix the warm water and honey until mixed well. Now add the yeast and mix thoroughly. Let it stand for 10 minutes until frothy. While using honey, the proofing of the yeast might take longer. So give it some extra time.
Now in a bowl, mix the flours, milk powder, salt, and raisins. Add the yeasty mixture little at a time and start getting the flour together. It will resemble a clayey texture. Keep mixing and kneading. If using milk instead of milk powder add it now. Continue kneading and when half way through, add the oil. Transfer to a clean surface and knead for about 8-10 minutes until a smooth and moist dough is formed. With wholewheat, be careful not to have a dry dough. Now oil the outer side of the dough and keep it covered in a warm place for the first rise. It took me about an hour to achieve this. 
To check if your first proofing is complete, take a small piece of the dough and gently pull it apart. It should form a membrane like structure. If the dough breaks while pulling, it needs more proofing. Now make small plum sized balls out of the dough and arrange on a greased baking tray or a lined baking tray. Keep sufficient space in between to allow them to rise during the second proofing. Cover it again and return to the warm place for another 30-45 minutes until doubled. 
Towards the end of the second proofing, start pre heating the oven at 175 degree celsius for 20 minutes. Take the dough balls out and brush the top with melted honey. Bake in the pre heated oven for 15-20 minutes until golden on top and a hollow sound while tapping. The bread should still feel a little soft while pressing gently. Take it out from the oven and immediately transfer to wire rack for cooling completely. You can also grab a bite while it is still warm. Cool completely before transfering to air tight container for the next day.

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