Thursday, October 2, 2008

rosemary raisin

farmgirl fare introduced me to the excellent pane di ramerino - rosemary raisin bread hailing from tuscany, italy. this recipe's been around since the early 16th century. i hope i get the chance to visit tuscany some day!

the combination of rosemary and raisin is simply awesome! this is one of the favourites here and my wife regularly shares this bread with her work colleagues. smells good, looks good and tastes good! Never had enough to go around!

  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon yeast
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • around 1.5-2 cups of water
  • 1-2 teaspoons dried rosemary. if using fresh, go for 2 tablespoons. 
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil

i didn't add milk nor eggs. feel free to add them as this would result in a smoother dough.

if you use white flour, you'll get more of the olive oil taste and rosemary flavour. i however prefer wholemeal (i'm a wholegrain nut!) so used a combo of wholemeal plus white flour. this depends on your liking. if you want a lighter dough, go for 3:1 wholemeal to white. if you prefer a heavier dough, go for 2:2 wholemeal to white (as in 2 cups to 2 cups).

[since i wanted to give some to friends, 1 scaled the recipe to 6 cups of flour. used 1.5 cups of raisin. if you maintain the same amount of yeast, it'll just take longer to grow.]

the first few times we did this bread, i had lots of raisins on the surface of the dough and they got slightly burned. burned raisins don't taste good!

to improvise, i now do up the dough first. after kneading (it's much easier to knead without the raisins), wait for 1 hour for it to grow, then i take out the dough, spread out flat (but don't flatten), and put in the raisins. then roll them up like a swiss roll. this way, all the raisins will be inside the dough. when you bite into the bread, you'll bite into juicy plump raisins!

you could also cut up the doughs into smaller sizes then seal them up into rolls. either way you can't go wrong with this recipe.

as you bake, the smell of rosemaryy emanates into your whole house. god! this is awesome!

as this is a pretty rich dough, it won't rise much. from the pic you could see, it expanded more sideways than upwards. it's rich and heavy, brother.

i had it baked in 180 c (about 350 f) for about 30 minutes. until the crust turns into an even lovely golden brown.

it's very difficult to wait for it to cool down! it's truly a test of resolve!

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