This molasses-raisin bread is an old favorite from Newfoundland. If you do not care for caraway seed, you may substitute 1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg.
Dissolve 2 teaspoons of sugar in 1 cup of water. Sprinkle the yeast over the water and allow to soften for 5 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, stir together the molasses, salt, 6 tablespoons of sugar, and shortening into the remaining 3 cups of water in a large bowl until dissolved. Add the raisins, flour, and caraway seed.
Mix together until a dough forms, then turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth and elastic, 10 to 15 minutes. Place into a well oiled bowl, and brush the top with a little melted shortening. Cover with a cloth and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
Punch down, and allow to rise again until doubled in bulk, another hour.
Lightly grease two 9x5 inch loaf pans. Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface, punch down, then form into two loaves. Place loaves into the pans, cover with a cloth, and allow to rise again until doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
Bake loaves in preheated oven for 1 hour until they are nicely browned and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.
Per Serving: 246 calories; protein 5.3g; carbohydrates 51.5g; fat 2.1g; sodium 295.7mg.
The quality of the flour can make a real deal to your bread. Different makers do vary. Great taste or Canadian flours, which are naturally higher in gluten, may give you a best rise than standard dough flours – especially if you’re making wholemeal dough , which doesn’t always rise as well as clear bread.
To make this in a breadmaker , add all the ingredients to your breadmaker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
A bread first rising can be done in the fridge overnight . This slows down the time it takes to rise to double its size, giving it a deeper flavour. It’s also a great limit , as you can work it yesterday , then clear it off the next day.