No Knead Raisin Bread

Baking bread is therapeutic. Those who bake regularly will definitely agree with me on this. A bad day or a tensed evening or a drained mind on your kids tantrums, head to kitchen and bake something. I feel good and happy,when i see my bread dough rising and baking beautifully in the oven. It gives a sense of achievement when the cut loaf is porous and your little munchkin nibbles the first cut loaf. 
After my success with buns, i wanted to bake a fluffy bread with wholemeal flour. I usually get a dense loaf, though good on taste, the look of it sometimes puts me off. So, this time, i tried making a biga/starter first and then made the dough with the starter and Voila, it worked. 
Biga is a type of starter used to make traditional Italian bread, when used, bread is lighter, with bigger holes and a more moist crumb. Glad, i tried making this and now i m a bit relaxed while baking a wholemeal loaf or a multi-grain loaf. 



Ingredients
For the Biga
1 cup Wholemeal bread flour

1.5 tsp instant yeast
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup molasses or honey (i have used molasses)
1 and 1/4 cup water or milk( I used half of each mixed together)

Dough

1 cup All purpose flour/White bread flour
1/4 cup california raisins
2 tbsp oil

Method

  • In a wide bowl, take Wholemeal flour, yeast, salt, molasses and whisk well to mix together. Now add 1 cup of liquid and whisk well to get a smooth gooey batter. If you feel the batter is very dry, add another 1/4 cup of water and mix. Let this Biga/starter stand for an 90 minutes in a warm place to rise.
  • After the said time, add 1 cup of flour, oil and raisins to the biga and mix well with a spatula. Mix it well to get a uniform mix. 
  • Now grease a 9×5″ loaf pan with butter or line it with a parchment paper. Transfer the dough into the greased pan, smoothen the top with the spatula. Let this sit for another hour in a warm place.
  • Preheat the oven to 220C. Brush the top gently with milk or egg. Bake the bread for 25 minutes or until it browns beautifully on top.
Notes
  • First time i made it with water and used 2 smaller loaf pans and the second time, i used milk and water mixed together and used a 9X5 loaf pan. 
  • The bread is mildly sweet, since i wanted it that way. You can reduce the amount of molasses to 2 tbsp, if you don’t prefer that mild sweetness.