One of our favorites for breakfast. Try it toasted, spread with creamy sweet butter, and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar.
- 1 package active dry yeast
- ½ cup warm water
- ¼ teaspoon plus 3 tablespoons sugar
- 2½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- ½ cup whole wheat flour
- 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ cup walnut pieces, toasted and chopped
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 cup raisins
1. Stir the yeast, warm water, and ¼ teaspoon sugar together in a small bowl. Let the mixture stand until the yeast starts foaming, 5 to 10 minutes.
2. Combine the flours, the remaining 3 tablespoons sugar, the cinnamon, and walnuts in a large bowl. Stir well.
3. Stir the yeast mixture, butter, and 1/3 cup water into the flour mixture. Then stir in the raisins or work them in by hand. Let stand 10 minutes.
4. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead until it is smooth and elastic, about 7 minutes.
5. Lightly oil a large bowl, and turn the dough in it to coat it with the oil. Cover the bowl loosely with a kitchen towel and let the dough rise in a warm place until it is doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.
6. Oil a 9 × 5 × 3-inch loaf pan.
7. Punch the dough down, and shape it into a loaf. Press it into the prepared pan and cover it loosely. Let the dough rise until it nearly fills the pan, 45 to 60 minutes.
8. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
9. Bake the bread until the top is browned and the bottom sounds hollow when tapped with your finger, 35 to 40 minutes.
10. Remove the bread from the pan and let it cool on a wire rack.