I read a book the other day about how to make small talk, and on the very cover was the blatant statement that it should never start with the weather. I imagine that it probably applies to any kind of conversation, including a blogger to their reader. But you know what, life’s too short for me not to shitpost.
So I’ve been chasing wind and loving it. It breaks my heart that there’s only three weeks left before my beloved bike separates with me, even more than being separated from family, however horrible that sounds. I love the freedom and the pure thrill of riding right next to the railroad and pedaling as fast as I can to keep up with the trains flying past.
Oh, you’re just here for the food? Well this bread came about as an effort, frankly, to use up my raisin sourdough starter that I’ll have to separate with as well when my holidays are up. Raisin toast is absolutely everywhere in Australia for some reason, most frequently seen on the chalkboards outside coffee shops, but I’ve always found it too dry and lacking in depth of texture. That’s why I adapted one of my favourite sandwich bread recipes, which happens to be surprisingly straightforward as it requires no cooking and chilling of water-roux but still makes the softest stringy toast with dairy flavour undertones.
raisin bread (one 450g loaf)
300g bread flour
2g active dry yeast
18g fed and active sourdough starter (or replace with more yeast)
15g unsalted butter
70g whole milk, scalded and cooled body temp.
135g lukewarm water
80g rum soaked raisins (or raisins)
Drain the raisins and set aside. Mix the yeast in the lukewarm milk and wait for it to foam up. Combine the yeasty milk, dry ingredients and 105g of the water and mix on low speed. Add the remaining water if needed; the final dough should be tacky but not sticking to your hands. Add the butter and mix until the dough can be stretched thin enough to be translucent. Add the raisins and mix briefly so they don’t break up.
Oil the bowl, form the dough into a ball and put it inside, spray the surface of the dough with a little water, cover and proof for an hour in a warm place. At the end of proofing the dough should be doubled in size and not bounce back when poked with a floured finger.
Take out the dough and punch the air out of it. Divide it equally in two and form each portion into a ball. Cover and rest for 15-20mins.
Roll each portion of the dough flat into a rough rectangle and roll them up from the short side. Cover and rest again for 15-20mins. Roll the dough flat, turn it over, roll it up from the short side and place the two rolls open side towards the long sides of the loaf tin. Spray the top with water, cover and let rise until the dough fills up to 90% of the tin. 10 minutes before done proofing, preheat the oven to 175C, then bake for 30 minutes. Loosen from tin and let cool for 20+ minutes before slicing.