Waterkefir-Raisin Loaf

I have a water kefir that’s fed with raisins two to three times a week. When the kefir is done with the raisins, I fish them out, place them in a small bowl on the counter and let them at least partially dry again. The good thing: they’re chock-full of additional nutrients. The bad thing: I really don’t like the texture of raisins. That’s why I “collect” them and shred them up or puree them to use in breads, rolls, waffles or pancakes. While the dough looks normal with small flecks of brown, the raisin pieces start to bleed heavily during the baking process and color the resulting bread a deep, reddish brown.

If you don’t have a water kefir, you can use normal raisins and soak them in a bit of water or apple juice until they’re soft. The rise times may be very different though, because the water kefir contains yeasts and enzymes that mess with the sourdough activity a bit and are probably at least partially responsible for the color.

  • 450g water
  • 100g lievito madre
  • 300g kamut/khorasan (freshly milled)
  • 300g wheat (freshly milled)
  • 100g skyr (or very thick yogurt, sour cream, cream cheese)
  • 2 tsp date syrup (or another sweetener)
  • 100g raisins (soaked and shredded)
  • 15g salt

Put the salt and 50g of the water to the side and mix everything else. I like to use my Ankarsrum for bread doughs, it’s heavy duty but gentle enough not to overwork the fragile gluten of the ancient grains like khorasan. Knead until you have a smooth dough, then mix the salt with the remaining water and add it in tiny sips while kneading, until the dough has soaked it all up and it passes the windowpane test.

Place the dough in an oiled bowl and let it rest for about 3 hours. Perform a round of stretches and folds every half hour to increase dough stability.

Gently form your loaf and place it seam side up in a banneton. Cover it with a shower cap or a plate and let it rest overnight (about 8 hours) on the counter if the kitchen is on the cool side, or for an hour on the counter and then the remaining time in the fridge. The dough will nearly double in size.

I usually bake my breads at 3/4 proof to leave lots of oomph for oven spring and a rustic and ripped look, but I slept longer than planned and had to bake this one at full proof. That’s why the surface is so boringly unblemished and the bread kinda flat.

Pre-heat your oven including a baking steel or dutch oven to 250°C / 480F and bake your bread with steam or in the closed pot.
Turn the temperature down to 200°C / 390F about 10 minutes after the bread is in the oven. Remove the lid from your dutch oven after 20 minutes. Bake for 45 minutes total, core temperature should be around 94°C / 200F.

Let your bread cool for at least an hour before you cut into it.


Today’s playlist came from the radio:

  • Whitesnake – Here I go again
  • Fury in the Slaughterhouse – Radio Orchid
  • Sabaton feat. Apocalyptica – Angels Calling
  • Queen – Don’t Stop Me Now

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