Hey hey cookies! Look at that – it’s Wednesday night! We made it through the mid week slump. Give yourself a pat on the back. That was hard…touch and go even…but what’s that right around the corner?
Thursday! And we all know Thursday is basically Friday. You know, because once it’s Friday people just kinda check out and countdown til the full on weekend. Not US of course, no no, we stay focused, head in the game, nose to the grindstone right through Friday evening. But some people…we hear…you know…don’t.
And what can we thank for getting us more than halfway through the work week? Carbs! Yes you know carbs, like for energy! And endurance.
You know, for all that focusing we’ve been doing. Er, we mean, will continue to do right the way through Friday.
Ok, so maaaaybe our focus will wean ever so slightly, but that just means we’ll have to eat some more delicious, almond butter-y bread (slathered with extra almond butter of course for all those good, helpful fats of course).
Sigh. Friday doesn’t seem so far away…
Raisin Almond Butter Bread
Makes 1 loaf
Adapted from My Bread: The Revolutionary No-Work, No-Knead Method
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons bread flour
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/3 cups golden raisins
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon instant or other active dry yeast
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons cool water
3 tablespoons unsalted smooth almond butter
3 tablespoons roughly chopped almonds
Additional flour for dusting
In a medium bowl, stir together the flours, raisins, salt, and yeast. Blend the water and almond butter in a blender. Add to the flour mixture and, using a wooden spoon or your hand, mix until you have a wet, sticky dough without any lumps. Cover the bowl and let sit at room temperature until the surface is dotted with bubbles and the dough is more than doubled in size, 12 to 18 hours (we let ours go for the full 18 hours).
When the first rise is complete, generously dust a work surface with flour. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the dough out of the bowl in one piece. Using lightly floured hands or a bowl scraper, lift the edges of the dough in toward the center. Nudge and tuck in the edges of the dough to make it round.
Place a tea towel on your work surface and dust it with flour and 2 tablespoons of the chopped almonds. Gently place the dough on the almonds, seam side down. Sprinkle the top of the dough with the remaining chopped almonds and a light dusting of flour. Fold the ends of the tea towel loosely over the dough to cover it and place it in a warm, draft-free spot to rise for 1 to 2 hours. The dough is ready when it is almost doubled. If you gently poke it with your finger, it should hold the impression. If it springs back, let it rise for another 15 minutes.
Half an hour before the end of the second rise, preheat the oven to 475 F, with a rack in the lower third, and place a covered 4 1/2 to 5 1/2-quart heavy pot in the center of the rack.
Using pot holders, carefully remove the preheated pot from the oven and uncover it. Unfold the tea towel and quickly but gently invert the dough into the pot, seam side up. Cover the pot and bake for 45 minutes.
If bread is dark golden after 45 minutes, remove from oven. If not, remove the lid and continue baking until the bread is a deep chestnut color but not burnt, about 10 minutes more. Use a heatproof spatula or pot holders to carefully lift the bread out of the pot and place it on a rack to cool thoroughly.