weet, savoury and with just the right amount of sour, this cinnamon raisin loaf might take a bit of time to make, but it's worth every minute.
Proofing basket or a bowl lined with a tea towel and sprinkled with flour
Dutch oven, baking stone or cast iron pan or pot (see Additional notes)
50g bubbly, active starter
365g warm water
480g bread flour
20g whole wheat flour
9g fine sea salt
50g brown sugar
In a large bowl, whisk the starter and water together. Add the flours and salt and mix thoroughly. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rest for an hour.
While the dough is resting, soak the raisins and walnuts in warm water. Drain well before use.
After the dough is rested, add the drained raisins and walnuts and gently knead them into the dough. If the dough becomes too sticky, add a sprinkle of flour.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature (around 21 C) for 8 - 10 hours, until double in size (overnight). In the morning, shape and assemble the bread.
Remove the dough onto a lightly floured surface and let it rest for 15 minutes. Prepare the proofing basket or lined bowl. Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.
Stretch the dough gently into a rectangle and gently brush the surface of the bread with water. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture evenly over the surface, leaving a little border. Roll the dough into a log, then fold the sides underneath and pinch it closed. Place it in the proofing basket, seam side up.
Cover the dough with a tea towel and let it rest for 30 minutes to one hour, until puffy but not fully risen.
Preheat the oven to 450F. Add Dutch oven 15 minutes before baking. Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit your Dutch oven.
Place the parchment over the bread and gently invert the basket. Score the bread with a sharp knife and place in the Dutch oven. Bake the bread, covered, for 20 minutes, then remove the lid and continue baking for another 40 minutes.
Take the bread out of the oven and place on a cooling rack for an hour.
A baking stone is a great alternative that helps retain the heat really well.
If using a cast iron pan or pot, it is important to retain the steam so a nice crust forms within the first 15-20 minutes of baking. To achieve this, place a shallow roasting pan one shelf below the bread. When the loaf is placed in the oven, put a few cups of ice in the hot roasting pan, then close the oven door. The quick melting ice will create the steam required for the crust of the bread.