Durum Double Raisin Bread with Pumpkin seeds
I was in the Aljunied area and decided to check out the an organic products outlet. They carry a wide range of organic products, including flours such as rye and spelt. I love their products, which I feel is good value for money. I have been using their Himalayan Pink rock salt since I started baking. I gave a bottle to a food writer friend once who subsequently featured it in the Straits Times Urban supplement. Another product that I love is their organic Demerara sugar. Since I love good coffee, I couldn't possibly just use any sugar. So whenever I was at the supermarket at Fairprice Finest, I will load up with a dozen of the salt and sugar. This never fails to earn some stares from the people in the queue.
While I was at the outlet, I chatted with the salesperson there. She let me sample the three types of organic raisins sold there. They were huge and tasted fantastic. Most of the raisins out there are soaked in oil which imparts a taste but the oil in these raisins was minimal and the natural taste of the raisins was more pronounced. Needless to say, I left the shop with 3 bags of goodies for my bread making. I have to add here that I am not paid to endorse their products nor am I related to anyone in the company.
I got some Durum flour from Phoon Huat store at Sims Place on my way back. This was different from the gritty semolina sold by Prima. Durum flour is used in Sicilian bread but Amy Scherber has a Semolina Fennel Raisin bread which I used to make. It is one of my favorite. Since I had all these ingredients on hand, I wanted to make a special Double Raisin Durum Fennel bread. I was looking high and low for my pack of Fennel but alas, it had been thrown out by my wife because it was past its expiry date. Fortunately, I had a pack of German bread spice given to me by a friend. The spice mix consisted of Fennel, Cumin and Coriander.
For the bake, the Durum flour was one-third of the flour used. The hydration was 70% and included 5% olive oil. I used both Black and Green Raisins with the pumpkin seeds. The bread was delicious. My only regret was that I did not add in enough raisins. However, the main reason why I did not overload on the raisin was because I was afraid that the kids would not touch the bread. My wife also dislikes the burnt raisin sticking to the crust. Fortunately for this bake, my daughter actually complimented me for the bread. What more can I ask for?