Well...I have some news...I have not been working for two months but I will spare the details for a variety of reasons. I can't believe that I haven't posted in so long, the past two months have been interesting to say the least, a whirlwind of things; my job ended, my husband broke his ankle and had surgery to repair it (guess who is doing all the driving?), we had a 15 year old visiting from Italy for two months, and then my best friend Paola and her daughter visited from Venice. It was such pleasure having Paola here, and being a great hiker and nature lover I took her to all my favorite places around town, what a blast! I wish she could come here often, two weeks just flew by.
The three months I worked were very exciting but really crazy, opening a brand new restaurant is really hard but very rewarding and I have learned tons. I had never worked such long hours in my life, sometimes 6-7 days a week, I had time for very little, and the blog was seriously neglected. I am now getting some well deserved sleep as waking up at 4:30 for weeks was taking a toll. I started exercising almost every day and I feel great. My garden and house plants are getting some TLC that they desperately needed, and I am enjoying the final days of string beans, cucumbers, tomatoes and basil. The house is getting organized and I am finally baking for my family.
Remember these? When I first tasted them I immediately recognized the flavor, having eaten something very similar all my childhood. I immediately loved the flavor and the texture of these little morsels, and in an effort to create a sweet treat to sell at my dream bakery, I took this recipe out and started working on it. I increased the butter and added sugar, eggs, and raisins to the dough. I didn't change the method, and the water content is the same because I wanted a dough at a higher hydration to compensate for the dry raisins that would absorb some water from the dough.
The resulting bread is really similar to the panini con l'uvetta I grew up eating in Venice as snacks after school, and that is exactly the flavor I was trying to replicate. I am submitting this bread to the wonderful weekly showcase of yeasted bread in Susan's blog, yeastspotting.
Pane all'uvetta-Raisin bread
200 g bread flour (if you don't have it, use all purpose)
5 g fresh yeast or 1/4 tsp dry yeast
170 ml water
- Dissolve the yeast in the water and quickly work the dough together in a small bowl.
- Cover the biga and let it develop for 15-24 hrs.
200 ml water, lukewarm
15 g fresh yeast or 2 tsp dry yeast
all the biga
500 g all purpose flour
25 g extra-virgin olive oil
2 large eggs
50 g sugar
12 g salt
50 g butter
150 g raisins
- Dissolve the yeast in the water.
- Add all the ingredients, except the butter and raisins, into the bowl of an electric mixer.
- Work the dough with the hook attachment until it is smooth and doesn't stick to the mixer bowl. Adjust the amount of flour to create a soft and somewhat wet dough.
- Add the softened butter slowly, then mix at low speed for 5 minutes to let the dough develop.
- Add the raisins and mix only until just incorporated (mixing more will break the raisins)
- Pour the dough onto a well floured surface and let rest for 5 minutes.
- Stretch the dough with your hands, fold it like an envelope and form it into a ball, cover it and let rest for 30 minutes. This will further develop the gluten and distribute the raisins evenly.
- Repeat the stretching and folding a second time.
- Put the dough into a container, cover it and leave to rise until doubled (at this point you can refrigerate it overnight).
- After the dough has doubled, divide it into smaller parts, about 70 g/2,5 oz each.
To see how to shape each piece of dough please check Ilva's or Lien's websites.
1. Roll out each portion into long strands and lay them out on a flat surface.
2. Make a semi-circle with a dough strand.
3. Twist the two ends together.
4. Bring the two ends towards the upper part of the circle.
5. Lift/fold the top part over the twisted part.
6. Take the two ends and join them together under the knot, this will make the knot part come out more and will hide the ends.
- Put the knots on baking sheets, brush them with an egg wash, and let them rise until they have doubled in size. Brush them again once risen, before baking.
- Bake in a pre-heated oven (200°C/390°F) for 20-25 minutes.