Raisin Walnut Bread

Raisin Walnut Bread

 1 C. lukewarm milk

 1 C. lukewarm water

 2 packages active dry yeast

 2 T. light molasses

2 C. rye flour, divided

2 T. vegetable oil

1 1/2 t. salt

3 – 3 1/2 C.  bread flour, divided

2 C. raisins

1 C.  coarsely chopped walnuts

Combine milk, water, yeast, molasses and 1 cup of the rye flour in a large mixing bowl; stir to mix well. Let stand 5-10 minutes. Add oil and salt; mix well. Stir in the remaining 1 cup rye flour. Let dough rest 10 minutes; the rye flour will absorb moisture.

Add 3 cups of the bread flour, 1 cup at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead vigorously 8-10 minutes, adding enough of the remaining 1/2 cup bread flour to make a firm (but not stiff) dough that is slightly sticky. Lightly oil surface of dough and put in the rinsed mixing bowl. Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm, draft-free place 60 – 75 minutes or until doubled in bulk.

Punch down dough. Knead briefly to work out the larger air bubbles. Roll out dough to a thickness of about 1/2 inch. Sprinkle raisins and walnuts on top of dough. Fold the edges of the dough toward the center. Knead dough a few minutes to evenly distribute the raisins and walnuts. (At first the dough will be messy and seem to be falling apart, but be patient; it will all come together.)

Divide dough in half and shape each half into a loaf. Place loaves in lightly greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2-inch loaf pans. Cover with a towel and let rise 40 minutes or until nearly doubled in bulk.

About 15 minutes before end of rising time, preheat oven to 350°F. Bake 35-45 minutes or until loaves are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped. Remove from pans and let cool on wire racks.

Note: If you prefer smaller loaves, divide the dough into 4 pieces and use mini-loaf pans. Bake at 350°F.  for 25-30 minutes.

Make 2 loaves or 4 mini loaves.


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