Irish Sourdough

Raisin Bread

Irish Sourdough Raisin Bread is a traditional Irish bread with a crisp, chewy crust that is mostly savory with just a hint of sweet. The raisins plump nicely in the dough while baking forming sweet chewy nuggets throughout the bread. Delicious with a lovely spread of creamy Irish butter!
Look at this beautiful airy crumb! The combination of sweet raisins and savory tangy sourdough is really amazing. It makes a great addition to any meal, breakfast, lunch or dinner and it's one of the easiest harvest style breads I've ever made.

How to make Irish Sourdough Raisin Bread:

After a brief blending of the dry ingredients, I add the sourdough starter all at once. I like to use a nice bubbly freshly fed starter in this recipe.

Start the mixer running on low after adding the starter and slowly drizzle in the warm water up to one cup. If the dough has not come together add one tablespoon of warm water at a time, allowing time for the added water to fully mix in, until the dough comes away from the sides of the mixing bowl. I use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl encouraging the dough to come together. Watch the video below to see how this works.

Once your dough has come together, continue to mix for 7 more minutes on low. The dough should be heavy and tacky.

Here is a video illustrating the formation of the dough. Patience is the key, don't add too much water to quickly. Begin timing the 7 minutes of mixing (kneading) after the dough comes together completely like at the end of this short video.

 

After forming the dough, scrape it onto a floured board and knead 4-5 times before forming a ball. Place the ball into a bowl with 1 1/2 teaspoons of vegetable oil and roll it until all sides are lightly coated with the oil.

 

Cover with plastic wrap and leave the dough to rise in a warm place until doubled.

(60-90 minutes)

After the dough has risen, move the dough onto a floured board, carefully knead 4-5 times again and reform into a ball. Take care to keep as much air in the dough as you can by not pressing too firmly.

 

Place the ball of dough into a well floured banneton or alternatively, into a bowl lined with a thin cotton towel that has been well floured.

 

Cover with the banneton cover or a piece of plastic wrap sprayed with oil and allow the dough to rise once more in a warm place until doubled (45-60 minutes)

 

Begin heating a Dutch oven with the lid on inside of your oven to 450 degrees.

 

When the dough has risen, gently roll the dough out of the banneton onto a piece of parchment paper that has been sprinkled with polenta, cornmeal or semolina flour and score with a lame or sharp knife. 

This dough is very easy to handle so score firmly and decisively. You should get great results.
I remove the Dutch Oven from the oven before removing the bread from the banneton so that it's ready and waiting to receive the newly formed loaf as soon as it's scored.

This is a great recipe for any bread baker, beginner or otherwise and it's so tasty you will want to make it again and again. 

Try it as a side this St. Patrick's Day!

Cheers!

~Melisa

Irish Sourdough Raisin Bread

Ingredients

3 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 cup sourdough starter

1 - 1 1/4 cups warm water

1/3 cups raisins

1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil

Method

Add all of the dry ingredients to a mixer and mix on low speed just to combine, then add the sourdough starter and begin mixing on low speed. 

 

With the mixer running on low speed slowly add the warm water up to one cup until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl as shown above. If the dough has not fully combined, add warm water one tablespoon at a time until it does. Be sure to give it time to mix in before each addition. If the dough becomes too wet add a little more all purpose flour until it comes together.

 

Once your dough has come together, continue to mix for 7 more minutes on low. The dough should be heavy and tacky, not too sticky.

 

Scrape the dough onto a floured board and knead 4 or 5 times by folding the dough back and forth as illustrated then shape into a ball. Place the ball into a large bowl with 1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil and roll it around to coat the ball with oil.

Cover with plastic wrap and leave the dough to rise in a warm place until doubled. (60-90 minutes)

 

After the dough has risen, move the dough onto a floured board, knead 4-5 times and reform into a ball.

 

Place the ball of dough into a well floured banneton or alternatively, into a bowl lined with a thin cotton towel that has been well floured.

 

Cover with the banneton cover or a piece of plastic wrap sprayed with oil and allow the dough to rise once more in a warm place until doubled (30-45 minutes)

 

Begin heating a Dutch oven with the lid on inside of your oven to 450 degrees.

 

When the dough has risen, gently roll the dough out onto a piece of parchment paper that has been sprinkled with polenta, cornmeal or semolina flour and score as shown. 

 

Carefully remove the Dutch oven from the 450 degree oven. Remove the lid and lift the bread using the parchment paper placing it inside the hot dutch oven, paper and all. Replace the lid and place the dutch oven back into the hot oven.

 

Bake 30 minutes with the lid on then remove the lid and bake 15-20 more minutes until well browned. The flour should remain white.

 

Carefully lift the bread out of the dutch oven and onto a bread board to cool using the parchment paper.

Be sure to let it cool at least 45 minutes before slicing. 

Enjoy!

 

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Copywrite © 2019 by Melisa Smith