I did “Mother’s Raisin Bread” from the “Beard on Bread” cookbook. The recipe as written makes 2 loaves of raisin bread, I did a half recipe to make one standard loaf. I also changed the recipe to use an overnight sponge instead of a straight dough. I put the loaf pan inside a cold cast iron dutch oven. and baked the whole thing at 350 degrees for an hour.
It turned out very nicely except the top was rather flat. I think plumping the raisins in sherry added too much liquid or perhaps too much alcohol. Does alcohol soften the dough? This was my first all white flour bread in quite some time. My brother had been playing with the South Beach diet in 2002 or so and I started using whole wheat flour at that time.
I haven’t made it much lately, but the Austrian malt bread I made yesterday came out a lot darker on the inside than I remember it being back in the days when I made it in a bread machine. Maybe it just didn’t rise as much and that makes it look darker.
The malted milk powder had solidified, but I broke it up some with a rubber mallet, so I might have just wound up with more of it than normal, or maybe it gets darker when it hardens, which happens if the jar isn’t well sealed, as it is very hygroscopic.
I tried Mike’s recipe for candied walnuts Sunday. I boiled about 1/2 cup of walnut pieces in 1/3 cup simple syrup for several minutes then used a spoon to place the nuts draining as much liquid as possible on parchment paper lined cast iron frying pan. I baked them at 350 degrees until dry. They are wonderful. Slightly Carmel flavored from the cooked sugar and not sticky at all. I have them in a jar in the refrigerator but they are so tasty I don’t expect they will last very long. Thanks Mike!