This recipe is for 2 small flattish loaves of a whole wheat
raisin bread with hints of cardamom, orange, and ginger. This is a
of a simple challah recipe, for which i will be eternally indebted to
Ari. Here's what it looks
- 1 package dry active yeast (2¼ teaspoons)
- 1 cup moderately hot water (100°F-110°F)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 3½ cups whole wheat flour
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup mild olive oil (or maybe try canola oil)
- 1 cup raisins
- ¼ to ¾ teaspoon ground ginger
- seeds from about 4-6 green cardamom pods, ground in a
with a pestel (Pre-ground cardomum
usually doesn't have the pungent flavour that the seeds out of green
whole pods has.)
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg (A big pinch, in other
words. I grate it fresh and don't really
- 1 teaspoon (or less) grated orange rind (Grate it fresh,
orange. It's good for you.)
- Optional: 2 tablespoons honey mixed with 2 tablespoons
water for glazing
- Let's first get the yeast going. Put the tablespoon of
sugar in the water into a glass. (Use a meat thermometer to make
water temperature is right: 100°F-110°F.) Add the yeast, stir,
and let stand. A foam
about one quarter the height of the water will form over the next ten
minutes. Be sure you do this in a glass large enough to allow room
for the foam. After the initial excitement of watching the yeast be
set it aside and go to the next step.
- Now let's reconstitute the raisins so they're plump and
juicy. In a small bowl, pour some boiling water over them and let them
sit until we need them.
- Now we make the spice mixture. Put the brown sugar in a
small bowl. Add the spices and work it into the brown sugar. (Doing it
this way makes sure the spices are evenly distributed, especially the
fresh orange rind, which would otherwise get all clumped together.)
- In a food processor or a heavy-duty mixer with kneading
attachment, put the flour, salt, oil, egg, and brown sugar and
spice mixture. If it's been at least 10 minutes since you started the
pour that in, too. If not, you need to wait.
- Drain the raisins and pour them in with the other
- Turn on your food processor or mixer. The dough is good
when it cleanly pulls away from the sides of the processor or bowl. It
should form a ball.
- Put the ball of dough into a large greased bowl, cover with
plastic wrap, and put a towel on it. Let it rise for about 2 hours in a
nice warm place (like your oven). This will give you lots of time to
clean up the mess you've made.
- Lightly grease a baking sheet or a loaf pan.
- After the dough has been left to rise for 2 hours, shape it
into two balls and place it on the baking sheet, or just place the
entire quantity into a loaf pan.
- Put the dough back into the oven (or other warm place) to
rise for ½ hour longer.
- If you're going to glaze the bread, do it now with the
honey and water mixture.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes in a 350°F oven. Bake until it
sounds hollow when you tap it, but don't overbake. Check it after about
minutes. It might be delicious already!
- Let cool a bit before devouring. Making two small loaves
rather than one big one encourages you to give one to your neighbour.
(Which is what baking's all about, right?) Serve with butter, where not
prohibited by law.