This is a somehow primitive recipe compared to other raisin breads like panetone or stolen, but the raisins combine with the whole wheat flour to an austere and delicious result.
You can have it as a power breakfast with butter and marmalade (and then perhaps set off for a long trek to Rohan), or just a plain slice of it with tea.
For the yeast mixture
- 20g fresh yeast, dissolved in 1/2 cup lukewarm milk
- 1 tsp caster sugar
For the dough
- 540g whole wheat flour
- 1,5 cups lukewarm milk
- 80g melted butter (plus some extra melted butter for brushing the braid)
- 80g caster sugar
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 cup raisins
Add the sugar to the dissolved yeast and stir. Set aside for about 10 minutes until frothy.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the flour with the salt, sugar and lemon zest. Make a well in the middle and add the milk, melted butter, raisins and the yeast mixture. Using the hook attachment mix on low speed for about 3 -4minutes until a dough forms. Add some lukewarm water or flour if necessary.
Cover with a tea towel and let it rise in a warm place for about 1 hour.
Divide the risen dough into 3 balls roll each into strips 35-38 cm long and about 4-5 cm in diameter. Lay the three strips side by side, pinching together at one end, and braid. Pinch together at the other end to hold the loaf intact.
Place the bread on a parchment-lined baking sheet, covered with a tea towel, and let rise for one more hour.
Preheat the oven to 170 C (fan).
Brush the bread lightly with melted butter and bake on the middle shelf for about 30-35 minutes, turning the tray around once halfway through baking, until golden brown all over. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.