When I was listing down the bakes for this series, I was thinking on the lines of O for Olive, Oats or Onion. I had in fact come up with a number of names as well. But one look at this bread at Gayathri's space, made me put all the options aside.
To be frank, the almonds, raisins, and the citrus zest is one of my irresistible combinations. This bread just called out to me and I am very glad I had baked this as we thoroughly loved this cake like bread studded with nuts and raisins.
O for Osterbrot is a German Easter Bread which is cake like and soft.
Here is the list of breads and rolls which have been part of this Mega Marathon..
A for An Pan - A Sweet Bread From Japan
B for Broa - A Rustic Bread From Portugal
C for Ciabatta - A White Bread From Italy
D for Date And Walnut Bread - A Traditional Bread From Scotland
E for Epi - The Wheat Stalk Bread from France
F for Focaccia Caprese - A Flatbread From Italy
G for Gai Mei Bao ~ Cocktail Buns - China or Hong Kong
H for Hokkaido Milk Buns - Japan
I for Iced Buns - Britain
J for Jam Bread - USA
K for Khaliat Nahal ~ A Honey Comb Bread - Middle East
L for Ladi Pav - India
M for Mojicones - Sweet Dinner Rolls From Columbia
N for Nissua ~ A Cardamom Bread From Finland
Recipe Source here
Raisins 1 cup ( I used chopped dates and raisins)
Almonds 1/4 cup
Milk 1/3 cup
For The Sponge -
Cake Flour 1 cup + 2 Tbsp (see notes)
Instant Yeast 1/4 tsp (I used Active Dry Yeast)
Cold Milk 2/3 cup
For The Dough -
Cake Flour* 1 cup + 2 Tbsp (see notes)
Sugar 3 Tbsp
Active Dry Yeast 1 tsp
Salt 1/2 tsp
Butter 3 Tbsp
Lemon/ Orange Zest 1 tsp
Milk 1/3 cup (The drained milk after soaking the deskinning the almonds)
Apple Cider Vinegar 1 tsp
*I used a combination of All purpose flour and Whole Wheat flour to make cake flour at home (1 cup of cake flour = 2/3 cup all purpose flour + 1/3 cup whole wheat flour + 1 tsp of cornstarch)
Method Of Preparation -
Soak the raisins in 1 cup of warm water for 30 minutes. Discard the water and set aside the soaked and drained raisins.
Soak the almonds in 1/3 cup of warm milk for about 30 minutes. Drain the milk and reserve it for further use. De-skin the almonds and chop half of them to be put in the dough and slice the other half to be used as a topping for the bread.
For the sponge -
In warm milk, add a teaspoon of sugar and yeast. Set aside for the yeast to froth up.
Mix in the flour to make a soft dough.
Cover the sponge with cling wrap and set aside in a warm place to double for about 2 hours.
For the Dough -
Mix the milk and apple cider vinegar and let it stand for 5 minutes.
To the sponge add the flour, sugar, salt, yeast. [ I used Active Dry yeast but forgot to proof it here and directly added to the flour - I don't think it affected the bread at all]
Mix in the milk-apple cider vinegar mixture to the flour.
Add the butter, raisins, almonds and lemon zest. Knead to incorporate.
[The dough was very sticky and difficult to knead.]
Dust the counter with flour and knead the dough for 10 minutes.
Shape the dough into a round loaf, cover it and let it rest for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 °F. Place a baking pan in the lower shelf of oven.
Place the round shaped loaf on a greased/lined baking tray.
Make a cross slit about 1/4th of an inch deep on top.
Brush the top with milk and sprinkle sliced almonds evenly.
Place the tray with the loaf in the middle rack.
Pour boiling water into the deep tray in the lower shelf and close the oven immediately.
Bake for 45 minutes. If you feel that the bread’s crust is browning fast, then cover it with a foil and bake.
[I had to bake for 48 minutes and at 37 minutes I felt that the crust was browning faster. After I tested with a toothpick and found that the insides were still raw, I covered the pan with aluminium foil and baked for another 11 minutes.]
Cool on a wire rack completely before slicing.
We enjoyed the bread by toasting it further until crisp.
Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 75
Preparation Time 10 min + 2 1/2 hors resting time + 48-50 minutes baking time
Makes an 8 inch round loaf