Raisin Bread

This is a recipe adapted from the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day Master Recipe.  Adapted may be too strong a word.  I added 3/4 tablespoon of cinnamon and some raisins to a half batch.  Japanese bakeries often sell small heavy loaves of raisin bread.  I love them and thus tried to make something similar.  It was a success – everything I had dreamed of.


Raisin Bread (Half Batch)

Makes two one pound loaves

From the Master Recipe in Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

1 1/2 cups lukewarm water

3/4 tablespoon yeast

3/4 tablespoon kosher or other coarse salt

3 1/4 unsifted, unbleached, all-purpose flour measured roughly

3/4 tablespoon cinnamon powder

A handful of raisins per loaf

Mix the water, yeast and salt in a large bowl.  I like to use a whisk.   Mix in the flour and cinnamon (I mixed the cinnamon into one of the middle cups before adding to the water) in to the water/yeast mixture and stir until combined.  The dough should be uniformly moist with no dry patches. You do not need to knead.  Allow to rise for two hours or until the dough has risen and flattened out on top.  During the rising, keep the dough lidded or covered with saran wrap but not airtight (leave a small part of the opening uncovered).   After rising the dough can be used immediately or refrigerated for up to 14 days.  It is easiest to work with after it has been refrigerated for 3+ hours.

Cut off a pound of dough and shape into a ball by stretching the sides of the dough out and gathering them on the bottom.  The top should be smooth.  Sprinkle with flour and place on a lightly floured surface.  Roll into a rectangle and sprinkle with raisins.  Roll up like you would cinnamon buns.  I then joined the two ends together to make a ring.  It looked a lot like a giant bagel.  Let rest for forty minutes.IMG_0541

Twenty minutes before you are ready to bake, preheat the oven and baking stone to 450F  (I do 200C in my small convection oven). Place a boiler tray in the rack below (in my case a metal cup of water).  Score the top of the bread to allow for rising.  Just before putting the bread into bake, pour boiling water into the boiling tray to create a steaming effect.  Bake for 30 minutes (20 in my oven) until golden brown and sounds hollow when you knock on the bottom.  Cool completely before eating to allow the bread to finish baking inside.


Kabocha Bread

The pumpkin (actually, kabocha) recipes continue.  This is a great kabocha bread recipe I found here on Allrecipes.com last year. I think I have made it four or five times and always enjoy it.  It tastes really good the day you make it and, like many pumpkin and spice combos, tastes even better the second day.  I use kabocha as pumpkin in fall recipes and this recipe is actually a pumpkin recipe.  I always make a half batch and have posted that with small alterations.

kabocha bread

Delicious Kabocha Bread

Submitted by: v monte on allrecipes.com

Original recipe here

1-1/2 cups and 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup solid pack
kabocha puree
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup water
2 eggs

Preheat the oven to 170C.

Mix all the dry ingredients together with a whisk in a large bowl.  Mix all of the wet ingredients together in a small bowl.  Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add wet. Mix until combined.  Half fill prepared loaf pans with the batter.  Bake for one hour.  I used small loaf pans and baked them for about 40 minutes.  Cool and serve.  Tastes great the next day.

Broa (Portuguese Corn Bread)

IMG_0504I bought Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day and The Bread Baker’s Apprentice for my birthday and have been enjoying them.  I have been using the first one so far and have been thoroughly impressed with what I have made.  My latest bread is Broa, a corn bread from Portugal that is vastly different to what North Americans think as corn bread.  It is a yeast bread with cornmeal in it.

I had it for breakfast with raspberry jam and it was wonderful.  I think it will taste great with soup or flavored cream cheese. I made a half batch but posted the recipe for a full batch.  My note on salt applies to a full batch.

Broa (Portuguese Corn Bread)

Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day, p.82IMG_0503

Makes four, one pound loaves

3 cups lukewarm water

1 1/2 tablespoons granulated yeast

1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt (I used 1 tablespoon regular table salt)

1 1/2 cups stone-ground or standard cornmeal (I used standard)

5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

cornmeal for pizza peel

Mixing Stage

  1. Mix the yeast, salt and water in a large bowl or tupperware container.  (I usually use a whisk)
  2. Mix in the remaining dry ingredients without kneading, using a spoon. You may need to wet your hands and mix the last bit of flour by hand.
  3. Cover, but don’t make it airtight, and allow to rest at room temperature until the dough rises and collapses (or flattens on top).  Approximately two hours.  (If you make it air tight you may find that the dough spoils)
  4. The dough can be used immediately or stored in the refrigerator for up to ten days.  Remember – don’t store it in an airtight container.  The dough is easiest to handle when cold.

Baking Stage

  1. Dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour and cut off a pound (grapefruit sized) piece.  Dust the piece of dough with flour and shape into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go.  Flatten slightly and allow to rest and rise on a cornmeal-covered pizza peel for 4o minutes. (I have an oven/microwave with a rotating tray so I use cornmeal on parchment paper and place it directly on the tray.
  2. Twenty minutes before baking time, preheat the oven and baking stone to 450F (I have a convection oven so I bake at 200C).  Place an empty boiler tray on another rack that won’t interfere with the baking bread. (My oven is tiny so I put an individual muffin cup full of water when I preheat the oven)
  3. Just before baking, sprinkle the loaf liberally with cornmeal and slash a cross, scallop or tick-tac-toe pattern into the top, using a serrated bread knife.  Leave the cornmeal in place for baking but tap extra off when eating.
  4. Slide the loaf directly onto the pizza peel (in my case, the tray), pour one cup of boiling water in the broiler tray and quickly close the door. Bake for about 30 minutes, until deeply browned and firm.  Smaller or larger loaves will require adjustments in baking time.
  5. Allow to cool properly before slicing or eating.

Note: I paraphrased some of the directions but some are word for word from the book.

Note 2: I read in The Bread Bakers Apprentice that you should reduce baking heat when using a convection oven.  I also read that you should always allow bread to cool because the baking process is not finished as soon as the bread leaves the oven. If the bread hasn’t been cooled enough it will be on the chewy side.

Honey Bread

I found this recipe via @williamcooks on twitter. He posted this recipe at about the same time I was considering baking bread.  I saw it and jumped on it.  You can find the original recipe posted here on Epicurious. I’ve posted a half batch with my changes.

I made the dough into a mini loaf (to accommodate my tiny Japanese oven) and buns. The buns turned out great.

It looks good on the outside...

It looks good on the outside...

Looks good on both outside and inside...

Looks good on both outside and inside...

Since it is a dense bread and that fact is stated in the recipe I should have just stuck with buns.  The top of the loaf got rather brown quickly and the middle didn’t have a chance to cook properly.

Not so great on the inside.

Not so great on the inside.

Honey Bread

Epicurious  | July 2009

by Marcus Samuelsson

The Soul of a New Cuisine: A Discovery of the Foods and Flavors of Africa

1/8 cup canola oil
3/4 tbsp yeast (the original recipe has a mistake on it so I guessed)
1 1/4 cups warm water
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I used 1 cup whole wheat and a couple of tbsps of bran)
1/2 tablespoon salt
1/3 cup honey (I used
ume honey)

In a small bowl, combine the oil, yeast, and warm water and stir to dissolve the yeast. Let sit for 5 minutes, or until foamy.

Combine the flour and salt and mound in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle. Slowly pour the dissolved yeast into the well, working in the flour with your fingertips, then knead the dough until a ball forms. Knead in the honey (so messy). Don’t knead on the counter – they honey makes a huge mess!

Put the dough in a large oiled bowl and turn to coat. Cover with a damp cloth or oiled plastic wrap and let rise to 1 1/2 times the original size, about 1 hour.

Grease two 9 x 4-inch loaf pans. If you have a small Japanese oven (think the smallest microwave you’ve ever seen) go for buns instead.  Punch down the dough and transfer to a floured work surface.   Knead for 5 minutes. Divide the dough in half and shape into loaves. Place in the prepared pans, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise for 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the pans in the oven and bake until the tops are golden, about 25 to 30 minutes (my oven took 15-20min). Invert the pans onto a cooling rack and let sit for 5 minutes, then remove the pans and let cool.

Grilled Flatbread

This is a staple recipe in my collection.  I discovered it last summer and have been making it regularly since.  I have a tried a few different combos. Black sesame, rye, whole wheat and herb.  It would be good to make makeshift pizzas under the broiler or using the toaster setting of a Japanese microwave.  This is great with dip as well.

Made with 3/4c corn flour

Made with 3/4c corn flour

Grilled Rosemary Flatbread

Easy Summer Cookbook p.184

250g white flour

1 1/2 tsp easy-blend yeast

1tsp sea salt

120mL hand hot water

2tbsp olive oil

Whisk flour, yeast and salt in a large bowl.  Make a well and add oil and water.  Mix until combined and then kneed on a floured board for a few minutes until smooth and elastic.  Make dough into a ball and place in an oiled bowl, turn to coat.  Let sit covered for 45-60min until doubled in size.   Punch down dough and divide into 4-6 equal pieces.  Roll each piece on a lightly floured board into a 15cm oval.  BBQ or cook in a frying pan over low heat for 5min or until browned nicely and edges are cooked on top, brush with oil (optional), turn and cook for a further 4-5min.

Serve hot.


Flour – use any combination of flours up to 50% of the total amount of flour. My favorites are rye, graham and whole wheat flours.  I sometimes add wheat bran too.

Herbs – add 1tbsp chopped fresh herbs or half that of dried herbs

Sesame Seeds – add a tablespoon or two of black/white sesame seeds and a drop of two of sesame oil

Spices – add 1/2-1tbsp of your favorite spice.  I’ve tried curry, shichimi and cajun.