Raisin bread calls for yeast, molasses

Bless Michael Koznek’s heart, he brings us back again to that great, never-flagging favorite, homemade bread.

“I tried Arlington reader Jo Green’s recipe for English muffin bread, and it is delicious and easy to make,” the Snohomish cook writes.

“This bread toasts up well and has a delicate crumb, the crust is soft and delicious. I did not dust my pans with cornmeal and the bread came out of the pans with no problem.

“The only thing I would change is the name. I would rename this bread English crumpet bread, as I feel this bread more resembles a crumpet than it does an English muffin.

“What do other readers think?”

Michael adds, “If your readers like bread recipes (let me speak for all of us and say we do, we do!), I hope they like this one.

“This was my mother’s recipe for raisin bread. I was in high school before I found out that nobody else made raisin bread this way.

Selma Koznek’s molasses raisin bread

2 packages dry yeast

1/2 cup warm (120 degrees) water

1 3/4 cups warm liquid (water, potato cooking water or scalded milk)

1 cup molasses

9-9 1/2 cups sifted flour, divided in half

3 tablespoos sugar

1 tablespoon salt

1 cup raisins

In a very large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add half of flour and remaining ingredients, except the raisins. Beat with spoon until smooth and batter falls from spoon in sheets.

Using your hand, mix in enough of the remaining flour until dough cleans bowl. Turn onto lightly floured surface. Cover and let rest 10 to 15 minures.

Knead until smooth and blistered, about 10 minutes. Knead in raisins just until distributed evenly. Round up in greased bowl, bring greased side up, cover with a cloth and let rise in a warm place until double, about 1 hour. Punch down.

Let rise again until almost double, about 30 minutes.

Divide dough into 2 equal parts, round up, let rest 10 minutes. Shape into loaves, place into 2 greased 5-by-9-inch loaf pans; let rise 1 hour or until pans are filled.

Bake 25 to 30 minutes in 425-degree oven, until internal temperature is 200 degrees.

Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.

Brush with soft butter and cover with cloth for a few minutes to soften crusts.

Makes 2 loaves.

The next Forum will appear in Monday’s Good Life section.

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