The simplicity of toasted raisin bread with butter cannot be beat.
Serves: 24Hands-on: 15 minutesTotal: 7 hours 45 minutesDifficulty: Medium
- 2 Tbsp. active dry yeast
- 3 1⁄2 cups tepid water
- 1⁄2 cup honey
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 Tbsp. powdered milk
- 6 3⁄4 cups plus 2 Tbsp. unbleached all-purpose flour, divided
- 1 1⁄2 cups raisins
- 2 Tbsp. coarse semolina flour
- In a large bowl, mix yeast, water, and honey. Set for 7 to 10 minutes. Stir in salt, oil, and powdered milk. Gradually stir in 3 cups flour. Stir in raisins and then gradually stir in another 3 1⁄2 cups of flour. If the dough seems dry, add up to 1⁄2 cup tepid water until it comes together. The dough should feel smooth and not too sticky.
- Cover bowl with plastic wrap, but leave a small opening to allow the gases to escape. Let the dough rise in a cool place for a minimum of 6 hours or overnight.
- When dough is ready, sprinkle 1⁄4 cup of flour on a work surface. Divide the dough in thirds and work with one piece at a time. Shape the dough into oval loaves.
- Sprinkle the semolina over a piece of parchment paper cut to the same size as a pizza stone or baking sheet. Place the loaves on the parchment, leaving room in between to allow the dough to rise. Sprinkle the remaining flour over the loaves. Let them rise for 1 1⁄2 hours. When the loaves have risen, use a sharp knife to cut three shallow slices into the top of each loaf.
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Set a pizza stone or large baking sheet on the middle rack to preheat. Add hot water to a broiler pan and place it on the top rack. Transfer the loaves to the pizza stone or baking sheet and bake for 30 to 35 minutes until the bread is golden. Carefully remove the loaves from the oven and allow them to cool to room temperature before serving.