I am gifting bread to a few people this Christmas and this is the first loaf I am including in the gift baskets. I will write all these recipes as I bake, but will not post them on the website until after Christmas.
According to Ms. Hensperger, traditionally Scandinavian Raisin Breads include cardamom. I am used to raisin breads spiced with cinnamon, so it will be interesting to see how this loaf differs from what I know.
Because I am baking several loaves, then gifting them all later, I want to be sure not to allow the bread to dry out. Here I am paraphrasing the author’s instructions for freezing bread:
First, be aware that freezing bread at home will keep it fresh for a maximum of 3 months. Longer than that, and your bread will definitely become stale. To freeze bread or rolls, first bake and then cool completely at room temperature. (If your recipe calls for glazing or icing, that should not be done before freezing, but just prior to serving.) Once the loaf or rolls are completely cooled, wrap whole or pre-sliced loaves first in good quality plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil or a plastic freezer bag. (A double layer or freezer bags is also acceptable.
To thaw, let the loaf or rolls stand at room temperature for about 3 hours.
That said, I placed my ingredients in the bread machine in the following order:
1 1/4 cups water
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
3 cups bread flour
1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
1 tablespoon gluten
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 teaspoons SAF yeast.
After selecting the light crust and sweet bread settings, I measured out the cranberries and golden raisins to add later in the cycle.
When the machine indicated the point between kneads 1 and 2, I added:
2/3 cup golden raisins
2/3 cup dried cranberries
This loaf baked up beautifully, with a rounded dome and golden brown colored crust. I didn’t think to take any photographs of this one though, and this is one I haven’t been able to taste test. I spoke with one of my recipients today and she will let me know what they think after they try it. I will update this post at that time.