Since we aren't eating any bread or buns or rolls on our month-long experimental eating plan (have you noticed I hate to say "diet?"), I haven't been baking bread nor have we had any in the house. (Well, except for hidden down in the deep, dark recesses of the freezer where I won't see it and it's difficult to get to.)
But because I was invited out to lunch today and wanted to take something for the hostess (and because I apparently felt a need to torture myself), I baked a couple of loaves of homemade bread last night.
I haven't made this particular bread in the longest time, and I don't know why because it is divine! A smidge on the sweet side, it makes the most heavenly toast. (Oh my gawd, how I miss my toast in the morning with eggs! [Picture me despondently banging my head on my desk as I write this.] Life shouldn't be this hard. Sigh.)
DARK ORANGE RAISIN RYE BREAD
2 cups rye flour
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons grated orange peel
2 slightly rounded tablespoons active dry yeast
1/2 cup molasses
1/4 cup butter
2 cups warm (110-120 degrees) water
1-1/2 cups raisins (I always soak my raisins in boiling water before using)
4 to 4-1/2 cups unbleached white flour
In a large bowl, combine rye flour, salt, orange peel and yeast. Heat the molasses, butter and water in a small saucepan, then add to dry mixture.
With a mixer, blend at lowest speed until moistened. Then beat 3 minutes at medium speed.
By hand, stir in raisins and unbleached white flour to form a stiff dough.
Knead on well-floured surface until smooth, about 5 minutes.
Place in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in warm place . . .
. . . until doubled in size, about one hour.
Divide dough in half and shape into 2 loaves.
Place loaves in greased 9 x 5" bread pans. Cover and let rise in warm place until light and doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45-50 minutes.
Remove from pans and cool on wire racks.
Not only did making this bread cause me acute longing for a warm slice slathered with butter, but hubby who was upstairs in his office as it was baking said the aroma wafting up to him nearly drove him out of his mind. What is it about the smell and taste of homemade bread that is so very appealing? Whatever, this is a good, good bread and I hope you can find the time to give it a try.