I have been making our bread for the last 26 years, with the odd exception when we buy something for a treat, and now that I don't have to satisfy four different palates, or make sandwhiches for school each day, I have decided it's time to make some more fun breads for our lunches. Not that there's anything wrong with the Multigrain Bread I usually make, but sometimes a change is good.
I have made a sourdough starter, and make sourdough about once a week, but wanted something a bit more flavourful and rustic. This fit the bill...rosemary was a definite, due to my fresh rosemary bush. I had a few shallots, and about a tablespoon of pinenuts so those went in, as well raisins...just because!
This loaf has a chewy crust, soft crumb and is slightly spicy from the black pepper I added, and then there's the sweetness of the raisins...it made a lovely ham sandwhich, let me tell you. I'm sure the rest will be used for toast...yum.
Measure out your flavourings:
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon toasted pinenuts
1 large shallot, minced
1/2 - 2/3 cup dark raisins
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine:
1 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup warm milk
Leave until the yeast has dissolved and starts to foam and rise to the surface.
the prepared flavourings
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup cornmeal
1 cup wholewheat flour
Mix on low speed with the dough hook until combined.
With the mixer running on low speed, continue to add:
1 1/2 - 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
Add flour until a ball of dough forms around the dough hook.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and continue to knead until it is smooth and elastic, adding small amounts of flour as needed to prevent the dough from sticking.
Form the dough into a ball, and cover with plastic wrap.
Leave to rest for 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes, gently knead the dough for another couple of minutes.
Form into a ball again, and place in a lightly greased bowl.
Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place to rise until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.
Remove the dough from the bowl, punch down lightly and form into a ball for the final time.
This will be your loaf. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Cover with a clean towel and leave to rise until almost doubled in size, about 45 minutes - 1 hour.
Heat the oven to 350F.
Brush the top of the loaf with water.
Slash the top with a sharp knife.
Bake for 45 minutes.
The loaf will be golden and crusty, and it should sound hollow when turned over and tapped on the bottom.
Remove from the tray onto a wire rack and leave to cool.
Serve this bread with soup, for breakfast as toast or use it to make sandwhiches for lunch.
- When making wholewheat bread I like to use no more than half of the flour as wholewheat. That being said, feel free to adjust the ratio to suit your taste.
- Flavourings can be played around with. Instead of raisins try dried cranberries, figs or dates. Omit the pinenuts or replace with walnuts or pecans. Green onion, red onion or chives can be used to replace the shallots. No rosemary? Use thyme, parsley, basil or oregano. Add grated or crumbled cheese if you wish.
- The sweetness of the dried fruit makes this loaf a perfect match for ham or turkey sandwhiches, toast or adding to a cheese board with blue cheese.
- For something more savoury, replace the raisins with chopped olives or sundried tomatoes. This will be a great partner for soup or pasta, as well as for making sandwhiches.
- The loaf can be shaped into a longer oval, or be placed into a loaf pan for a more traditional sandwhich loaf.