It is important to use top quality premium ingredients (like King Arthur Flour)for this recipe to be really special. The flour really, REALLY makes a difference.
- Cook Time
- Prep Time
- 2 or three loaves ServingsServings
- 3 cup whole wheat flour
- 3-4 cup unbleached white flour
- 1 3/4 cup warm water
- 2 packets active dry Yeast
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup honey I prefer Wildflower
- 3 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup parve margarine
- 3/4 cup chopped pecans
- 3/4 cup raisins BJ's Raisin Medley
In a large mixing bowl stir together the yeast, 1 1/2 cups of flour, 3 1/4 teaspoons salt and 1/3 cup of sugar.
Melt the margarine in the warm water, add the honey, mix together, test the mixture to make sure it is less than luke warm, then add it to the flour and yeast mixture.
Add about three or four cups of the flour. Stir into a shaggy mass. Let stand 10-20 minutes to absorb flour.
Knead, by hand or with a dough hook, adding remaining flour as required to make soft and elastic dough (about 10-12 minutes). Dough should leave sides of the bowl. If it is sticky, add small amounts of flour until dough is soft but no longer sticks. (Note: if you find dough too bulky for your mixer, divide in two. Knead one portion at a time).
Let dough rest on a lightly floured board ten minutes, then flatten and press in raisins and pecans as evenly as possible into the dough, folding dough over raisins & pecans to "tuck" them in.
Fold the whole thing up into a ball, with the raisins & pecans inside and place in a greased bowl, turning to grease the outside of the dough; cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a draft free place until doubled and puffy looking, anywhere from 45 to 90 minutes.
Divide dough in two or three pieces. Shape into loaves
Place on parchment paper covered baking sheet. Sprinkle some chopped pecans over the tops of the loaves (press in slightly). Let rise until doubled in size, around an hour. Preheat oven to 350º; bake loaves 30-35 minutes or until bread is evenly browned.
Makes three small or two medium braided loaves.
I use the Raisin Medley from BJs or Costco.
SIX STRAND BRAID:
1.Bring up & diagonally across the 2 outer ropes so that the right rope goes over the left.
2.Cross the outer right rope (formed by step #1) back down over two ropes.
3.Cross the 2nd from the left rope over & up to the extreme right.
4.Cross the outer left rope back down over 2 ropes.
5.Cross the 2nd from the right rope over & up to the extreme left.
6.Repeat starting with step #2 until you come to the end.