We can’t stop eating it.
I can’t tell you how many loaves I’ve made these last couple weeks, but I will say that I made a triple batch over the weekend. Tripling the recipe worked perfectly with my two 12-inch bread pans. I proudly offered one of the beauties to my mama for Mother’s Day.
I think she’s addicted, too.
Be aware, there’s quite a process involved in making the bread, but it’s worth it, and it gets easier each time you do it.
The soaker and biga pre-doughs need to be made the night before. This allows for better digestion and a softer taste. You can really taste the difference, too; yes, this bread is heavy, but it doesn’t have a rough or chewy texture like many whole grains bread do. It is very smooth.
If you haven’t already, you may want to read about why using freshly ground wheat is your best bet. I like to use organic hard white wheat.
100% Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin Walnut Bread
Here’s what you do:
1 1/3 c whole wheat flour
3/8 tsp salt
3/4 c milk or plain yogurt
1 c raisins
Combine flour, salt, and milk; mix for one minute. Add raisins and knead until mixed together well.
Cover loosely at leave out on the counter overnight.
1 1/3 c whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp yeast
6 tbsp milk
1/4 c melted butter or oil
1 large egg
Mix together. Using wet hands, knead dough in a bowl for two minutes. Dough should still feel tacky. Let dough rest for about five minutes, then knead again with wet hands for one minute.
Transfer to a clean bowl. cover, and refrigerate overnight.
In the morning, about two hours prior to mixing the final dough, set out the biga so that it can return to room temperature.
All of soaker
All of biga
5/8 tsp salt
2 1/4 tsp yeast
2 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 c chopped walnuts
Chop or tear the soaker and biga into 12 smaller pieces, and dust with flour so that they don’t stick back to each other.
Combine soaker and biga pieces in a bowl with the salt, yeast, honey, and cinnamon. Knead with wet hands for about two minutes. The dough should be slightly sticky; use more flour or water for adjustments if necessary.
Add walnuts and knead for 3-4 more minutes, until dough is tacky but not sticky. Form dough into a ball and let it rest for five minutes while you prepare a lightly oiled bowl.
Resume kneading the dough for one minute. Form the dough into a ball and place it into the prepared bowl. Cover loosely and let rise at room temperature for 60 minutes.
When the dough has risen, sprinkle a work area with flour and gently roll the dough out into an 8-inch square. Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar (optional) over the surface and roll into a tight loaf.
Place dough into oiled 4 1/2 by 9 inch bread pan. Mist the top of the dough with an oil spray (I use an olive oil mister). Cover loosely, and let rise for 45-60 minutes, until the dough crests above the pan.
Preheat the oven to 400. Place the bread pan on a middle shelf, and lower the temperature to 325. Bake for 20 minutes, then rotate the pan 180 degrees and bake another 25-40 minutes, until done.
Place bread onto a cooling rack and let cool for an hour before serving.