Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Rosemary-Raisin Loaves

While scanning the listing in Food Porn Watch this morning, I came across Jamie Oliver's blog and gave it a click to see what he had to say. I'm not a big fan of his cooking, but I did see an interesting basic bread recipe with rosemary-raisin variation.

Well, I was inspired by the ease of method and, having all the ingredients on hand, including the fresh rosemary from the yard, I dragged out the new KitchenAid and started to put the dough together. Nothing fancy or complicated here, except I was totally surprised when, about two-thirds of the way through the mixing, the machine stalled! It must have overheated because the dough was quite dense and heavy. I finished kneading on the counter and gave the mixer a chance to cool down. It started up again after a cool-down of about ten minutes, but I thought for this size motor that stalling would not be an issue.

Here's the mixer bowl containing the dough after the first rising.

As written this recipe should make two good size loaves. When I saw how much dough there was I just split it in half, froze one in a freezer bag and proceeded with the other half. As you can see below, it left me with a huge loaf. Perhaps each half could be split again to make four smaller loaves next time.

Oliver's directions called for a 350 oven, but I increased that to 400 for half the baking time and then dropped it down to 350 for the last half until it was nicely browned and had that typical hollow thump sound when tapped on the bottom.

This isn't what I'd call an artisinal European-type bread, but it is a nice slicing loaf with just a hint of rosemary, which can be overwhelming if overused, and sweetness from the raisins. I plan to use this with some nice goat cheese from the fridge and a fig jam we got the other day from, of all places, T-J Maxx! They have a great selection of gourmet food items to have with drinks or to give as a gift at a reasonable price.

Overall I'm not sure this recipe is a keeper. I prefer a bread with more texture and long-developed flavors. Sorry, Jamie!

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