Of all my food weaknesses I'd have to say bread and salted butter is my greatest. After having a week off work testing bread recipes I've certainly eaten plenty of slices this week! Maybe I'll go easy on the carbs in June ;)
My reason for baking so much bread? Playing with the steam bake function on my beautiful new AEG SteamBake oven. You know on the bake off when you see them pouring water into a tray in the oven to get that brilliant crust on a loaf of bread? Well this oven has a built in dip at the bottom for pouring water into and using the steam bake function makes the oven more humid so you get the perfect crust on your bread. Very satisfying.
I have absolutely loved testing this oven, honestly it's been a dream and actually taught me more about baking/cooking. For example, when you set the dial to the temperature you want to cook at the screen starts a timer counting to when the oven is actually at that temperature. So it takes around 4-5 minutes to get to 180 C and so often I would just turn the old oven on and whack stuff in before it's actually heated up. Sounds obvious when I write it down but I like that this oven tells me when it's actually at the temperature I want it to be.
So this bread...I've been a little in love with Tesco bakery's cranberry, raisin and cashew bread for some time and can easily eat half a loaf with a healthy serving of Lurpak. When I was thinking of bread recipes I wanted to make in the oven, all I could think about was recreating this wonderful loaf. I think I've done it. It's super easy to make and had just a hint of sweetness, plus I love the cashews in it. I've been eating it all weekend but it's best around 3pm, toasted with lots of butter. Damn, me and butter again!
I've got a few other great recipes I've been testing with this oven that I can't wait to share with you!
Cranberry, Raisin and Cashew Bread
50g dried cranberries
240ml warm water
1 tablespoon dry active yeast
240ml whole milk, lukewarm
50g unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons salt
770g strong white bread flour, plus extra for kneading
1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Soak the raisins and cranberries in a small bowl of hot water for around 10 minutes and then drain well in a colander.
- In a large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer, add the warm water and yeast and let sit for a few minutes. Give it a stir and then add the melted butter, lukewarm milk and salt.
- Add the flour and cinnamon and stir until a shaggy dough starts to form. Add in your raisins, cranberries and cashews and knead for 8-10 minutes on slow or by hand. If the dough seems too wet, add a little extra flour a tablespoon at a time until you get a smooth dough.
- Shape the dough into a ball, place back in the bowl, cover and leave to rise in a warm place for about an hour, or until doubled in size.
- After an hour, remove from the bowl and knead on a lightly floured worktop for a minute. Then shape and either place in a tin or on a lightly floured tray. Leave to rise again for another 30-40 minutes.
- During this rise, preheat your oven to 190 C/375 F/gas mark 5. If you have the AEG steambake oven, pour the water in the embossed dip at the base before turning the oven on and then press the steam button on the front. To creative steam in any oven, put an empty tray on the bottom while preheating, when you put your dough in the hot oven pour a jug of cold water into the tray at the bottom and close the door. This will create steam as the bread is baking.
- Bake for 60-70 minutes. Leave to cool before slicing and toasting and covering with lots of lovely butter.
This post was sponsored by AEG. All opinions are honest and my own.