OK, now that you're all done laughing, I'll admit I didn't really get much done. At least not what I set out to do. But then there's nothing unusual in that. A little laundry, a little house cleaning, a little car maintenance, a little shopping for next weeks meals....but I did manage to satisfy my baking urge by turning out a couple of loaves of raisin bread.
|My collection of Marcia Adams cookbooks|
Unfortunately, Ms. Adams is no loger alive, she passed few years ago after being diagnosed with a heart problem. She wrote her cookbooks, some of which were made into PBS programs, in the 1980's and 90's. She said "I have loved writing all my books, for they are more than just a collection of recipes since they are accompanied by researched history and personal narratives. I’ve learned so many new things and met so many interesting, great people that I would have missed had I not decided to be a food writer.”
I've been trying out some of her bread recipes recently with varying degrees of success. Last week I tried out her Kentucky Cornmeal Bread as written in the book and I think this could use some tweaking before I'm ready to say it's one to be used again and again. This weekend, however, I may have hit upon a keeper with her No-Knead Country Oat and Raisin Loaf. With some whole grains in the form of oats and dark molasses for flavoring, this bread raised nicely, was easy to prepare and tastes very good toasted with cinnamon and sugar on top. Although I use my KitchenAid to prepare all these doughs, if you have strong arms and a sturdy wooden spoon this can be done by hand.
NO-KNEAD COUNTRY OAT AND RAISIN LOAF
Biga (or starter)
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1 cup quick-cooking oats
1/2 cup dark molasses
1 cup raisins
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon salt
Prepare the Biga by combining all the ingredients into a large mixer bowl and mix well. (I put this in my kitchen aid work bowl and mix with a large woden spoon.) Cool to lukewarm while preparing the remaining ingredients.
2 packages active dry yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
In a small bowl, combine the yeast and water, mix to dissolve the yeast and set aside for 5-10 minutes until it foams. Add the yeast and eggs to the biga and combine thoroughly.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the loaves for 50 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 200 degrees. Turn out of the pans immediately and cool completely on a wire rack. To keep the top of the loaves soft, rub lightly with butter over the top.
I topped mine with a glaze made from 1/2 cup powdered sugar and 1-2 teaspoons milk.