I am pretty much a creature of habit. I like to have toast with my morning coffee. I especially love a good raisin bread and variations of raisin breads. This time, I decided to try a new recipe called Nutty Prune Wheat Bread. It is actually a bread machine recipe, but it does not have to be mixed or baked in a bread machine. I found this recipe in a great book I just bought called Betty Crocker's Best Bread Machine Cookbook. The recipe is also available online, and I will provide the link at the end of this Musing.
I made the 1.5lb loaf version and made only a few revisions. I used organic flour, butter and milk powder. I used chopped pecans instead of walnuts (because that's what I had on hand). I also added 1 tsp of dried orange peel. (I might increase that in the future, or try using fresh orange zest if I have it available). I mixed the dough in my bread machine using the dough cycle, which also does the dough's first rise. When the cycle completed, I removed the dough, shaped it and let it rise in an oval linen lined bread basket. I dusted the linen with oat bran. (you can also let this loaf rise in a loaf pan or on a baking sheet). When roughly doubled in size, I flipped the dough onto parchment paper. I scored the top with a sharp knife. I placed the dough in my cold clay baker (soaked previously in water). I put the lid on and placed it in a cold oven set to bake at 450 degrees.
You don't have to use a covered baking vessel. This can be baked conventionally, uncovered, in a preheated oven. Your bake time will be different if you do this. I like using covered baking vessels to steam the bread initially and then uncover to crisp the crust. Conventional baking would need about 35-45 minutes at 375 degrees. If baking traditionally, I would keep an eye on it as ovens can have hot spots etc. A 1.5 pound loaf may not need as much time to bake as a 2 lb. loaf. Of course, you can also follow the bread machine directions given in the recipe.
While I made this recipe from my new book, Betty Crocker's Best Bread Machine Cookbook, I''m including an online link to the same recipe.
If you are interested in buying a nice bread machine cookbook, the Betty Crocker's Best Bread Machine Cookbook is quite nice with an interesting variety of recipes. You can make any of these recipes traditionally, either by hand or with a mixer. Here is a link to the book, which is available in new and used condition. I checked this out from the library first, before deciding to purchase it to my personal collection.