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Raisin Buns
 

As an alternative to your favorite raisin bread, these buns are great toasted in the toaster oven. Of course, the recipe may be used to make a loaf: you can roll out the dough into a rectangle and spread it with a mixture of brown sugar, cinnamon, and raisins, and then roll it for the loaf pan or to slice into pinwheel buns. There are also different ways to work the dough to produce the texture you prefer. Working the dough by kneading and adding flour will give you a dense texture that will keep well, but gently folding the dough will produce a softer texture that may dry out after a day or two. You can always place a brown sugar keeper with the buns to re-hydrate them.

For more helpful yeast bread techniques, visit The Fresh Loaf: this helpful community of dedicated bread aficionados will help you to discover your inner baker . . .

Preferment

1 cup all-purpose or bread flour

1 cup water

1 tsp quick-rise yeast

Dough

2 cups flour

1 tsp yeast

1 tsp salt

½ cup butter

4 tbls liquid honey

1 tsp ground mace

¼ cup non-fat powdered milk

½ cup raisins

wheat bran

Prepare a large tempered glass bowl:  fill with very hot tap water and allow to sit while you prepare your ingredients. Whisk the ingredients for the Preferment in the drained glass bowl and cover with plastic film.  If you’re planning to leave the preferment for more than a few hours, you might want to use a sanitized mason jar (with lid not tightened) instead of a bowl.  Allow to sit at room temperature for a few hours, or over night in the fridge.
Free Standard Shipping $99 or More 120x90 Melt the butter and honey together in the microwave for 1-2 minutes on medium.  Use an instant read thermometer; the temperature should be between 120° and 130° F when added to your preferment mixture; mix.

Combine 1 ½ cups flour, the yeast, salt, milk, and mace for the dough and add to the preferment and butter mixture.  Mix until the ingredients form a sticky ball, then turn out onto a board floured with some of the remaining ½ cup of flour.

Knead the dough for 8-10 minutes, using the remaining flour as necessary—but use as little as possible, just to allow you to work the dough.  The dough should be a bit sticky and clean the board without needing more flour at the end.

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Form the dough into a tight ball and pinch the underside edges together; grease lightly and place in your glass bowl, covered with a thin, lightly dampened tea towel.  Allow to rise until doubled in a warm place; then, place dough on board, press into a rectangle, and gently fold in thirds, like a letter.  Repeat until any large gas bubbles have been expelled.

Roll the dough into a cylinder shape and slice 1” pieces to be rolled into balls.  Work the pieces to form a smooth top by tucking edges under; add a raisin each time you tuck under an edge of dough, until each ball has raisins inside but without any poking through the surface.  Dip the top of each bun in a little wheat bran.

 

Place the rolls on your baking surface and cover with tea towel.  If using a baking stone, place parchment on the stone and arrange buns on it, then slide the parchment onto a wire rack or the back of a cookie sheet; place stone in oven and preheat.  Allow buns to rise in a warm place until doubled.  Have oven preheated to 475° F with a pan of hot water on the bottom rack.

Place buns carefully in hot oven and reduce heat to 425° F.  Bake for roughly 15 minutes until crust is golden brown and internal temperature reaches 200° F.  Allow to cool briefly; serve with butter.

 
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