Discard Day: Make Sourdough Raisin-Walnut Bread
This is a great bread for breakfast and beyond! The bread is moist, full of flavor, and just a touch sweet. A little whole-wheat flour gives the easy-to-make bread great texture as well as taste, and plenty of sweet, juicy golden raisins as well as crunchy walnuts enhance the flavor of the bread and make it special. The bread has a close crumb and slices easily after it has cooled thoroughly. I like the bread toasted and plain, but I'm sure a slather of butter or jam wouldn't be amiss, either. The recipe makes a large loaf that keeps well. Enjoy!
Sourdough Raisin-Walnut Bread -- Makes 1 Large Loaf
1 cup of sourdough starter/discard
1 large egg
1/4 cup of milk
1/4 cup of canola oil
1/4 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of white whole-wheat or whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
In a large bowl mix all of the ingredients listed above well until they are thoroughly combined. Loosely cover the bowl and let the mixture sit for at least an hour. I usually let my mixture sit for 3-5 hours, and it's fine (plus you'll get better flavor that way and have time to work while you're waiting!). When you're ready, add:
1 cup of all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon of salt (you can increase this to 1 1/2 teaspoons if you like saltier bread)
1/2 cup of golden raisins (yes, you can substitute regular raisins, if you want)
1/2 cup of chopped walnuts
Knead the bread for 3-5 minutes, adding about 1/4 cup of additional flour, if necessary, as you knead. The amount of flour necessary will vary depending on how stiff your starter/discard is and how humid a day you have (you'll need less flour for a stiff starter/very dry day, etc.. I keep a very stiff starter). Spritz a large loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray or line the pan with aluminum foil and spritz the foil with non-stick spray. Shape the dough into a loaf/cylinder shape and place it in the pan. Spritz the top of the dough with a little non-stick cooking spray and loosely cover the dough with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise until it increases in volume by about one-third. This generally takes 2-3 hours in my relatively cool kitchen. When the dough has risen, pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees and then bake the bread for 45-55 minutes or until it turns golden brown and/or reaches an internal temperature of about 190 degrees. Let the bread cool completely before slicing it for neater slices (and to help the bread stay moist longer).