Sunflower Raisin WW Bread - for bread machine
I bake a loaf of bread every week for dinner with friends. After two years, they told me this was the best bread I have made so far (which means either my other loaves were awful, or this one was really, really good). Personally, I prefer more savory flavors, but I did like this sweet loaf fairly well.
Inspired by recipes in Donna Rathmell German's ~The Bread Machine Cookbook III~ ©1992
1 1/3 cmilk or water
3 Tbspsunflower or olive oil
1 1/2 tspsalt
1 cwhole wheat flour
1/2 csunflower seeds
1/2 cgolden raisins, dusted in ap flour
2 call purpose flour
2 tspinstant yeast
How to Make Sunflower Raisin WW Bread - for bread machine
- This recipe is for a "2 pound" loaf (even though I doubt it actually weighs two pounds). In other words, if your bread machine isn't designed to process at least 3 1/2 cups of flour, do not use these measurements. Or else make it by hand (bake at 350℉ for about 40 - 55 minutes, depending on your oven).
To make this vegan and/or dairy free, use water instead of milk.
- Prep the raisins:
If it's cold and your raisins are hard, pop them in the microwave for a few seconds to soften, either before or after you measure them (whichever makes them easier to handle).
Next, drop about a tablespoon of your all purpose flour into a small bowl with the measured raisins and break them apart, making sure they're separated into individual raisins and evenly coated in flour. Reserve.
- Make sure the paddle is on its post, then add all ingredients to your bread machine pan in the order listed unless your machine's instructions state otherwise.
Using a stiff rubber spatula, mix the floating dry ingredients a little to distribute the yeast granules, seeds, and raisins (if you aren't using the delayed timer setting, it's OK if a little moisture gets into dry ingredients).
- Put the pan in the bread machine, close the lid, set the program to either Basic or Sweet (if using the Basic cycle, I recommend using the light crust setting), then press Start.
- After 7 - 10 minutes of mixing, check consistency of the dough.
I use a stiff rubber spatula to aid in the mixing process during this time, making sure no flour is stuck in pan corners, and that the ball of dough tumbles completely over regularly (this doesn't matter later in the kneading process, but it's important here). It takes my machine 15 - 25 paddle revolutions for the dough ball to make a complete tumble (some machines need more help than others).
If your dough is in the Goldilocks zone, you don't have to do anything now. Move on to the next step!
IF the dough is STIFF with cracks and/or crumbly after 10ish minutes, add liquid by tablespoon until it's elastic and holds together (allow each tablespoon to mix for at least 90 seconds before adding another). Use the rubber spatula to help the dough mass turn over and pick up liquid.
IF the dough is SLACK or loose and a thin layer remains on the bottom of pan under the turning paddle, add flour by tablespoon until dough picks up into a solid, elastic ball (again, allow each tablespoon to mix for at least 90 seconds before adding another). Use the rubber spatula to steer the dough toward picking up the flour, making sure the ball fully turns over several times.
If in doubt, it's better to have a little too much liquid than flour. A little too much liquid* can cause your loaf to fall, but you can still eat it. Too little liquid makes the loaf inedible because there isn't enough moisture to make a dough and wake the yeast.
* A LOT "too much liquid" can cause the loaf to remain uncooked in the middle. It may still be savable by toasting individual slices, but probably it's best to serve it to the birds once it's finally cooked. Or maybe dry it afterward and use in your turkey stuffing. Hmmm, now there's an interesting thought....
- Once you have an elastic, malleable ball of dough, close the lid and let the machine do its thing.
- When machine tells you the bread is done,* press Stop (if your machine has a keep-warm feature), open the lid, allow the bread to rest and cool for a few minutes, then, using hot pads, take out the pan, remove the loaf and allow to rest on a cooling rack until you can touch it without hurting yourself. Do not cover unless loaf is in danger of being attacked by wildlife. Or impatient male household members.
Once it's cool enough to touch, use a plastic fast-food knife to cut out the paddle if it's still stuck in the bottom of the loaf. Never use metal against the non-stick surface of anything in your bread pan -- it is very delicate and easily scratched!
*You can let this sit for quite awhile after it's done. Just remember, the longer it sits, the more the loaf will sweat -- even with a warming feature -- thus softening the crust.
- Experts will tell you to allow the loaf to cool fully before slicing. Silly experts. Get yourself a good bread slicing knife and cut into that bad boy, slather some butter on a slice and eat until you pop! Honey butter is especially good on this bread.
- NOTE about using Delayed Bake Timer:
I have not used this recipe with the delayed bake feature. Experts will tell you not to use this feature with dairy products, but I say fooey on that as sour dairy adds massive flavor to bread. I would go for it! (See Disclaimer below.)
If your milk is far enough gone to become poisonous (i.e. make you sick) after only 13 hours on the counter (the usual maximum time delay available for bread machines), it probably wasn't safe to drink in the first place.
The same for yogurt, sour cream, buttermilk, and (especially) all cheeses. Unless you buy directly from a dairy farmer, in the USA all commercial dairy products are pasteurized for safety and should be fine if left at room temperature for several hours. If liquid they will likely get sour, and may even curdle, but they shouldn't turn poisonous. IMHO.
I am not an expert of any kind. These are just my opinions based on reading and personal experience. Use my advice at your own risk.