Whole Wheat Walnut-Raisin Bread

Like many whole-wheat bread recipes, this one also contains all-purpose flour for a lighter texture. Let your mind go blank as you knead the dough-it’s a tried-and-true stress-buster. If you like, shape the dough into 2 small loaves rather than 1 large loaf. Note, however, that the baking time may be slightly less.

3/4 cup golden raisins
2 tablespoons honey
2 cups lukewarm water (105° to 115°F)
1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
2-3/4 cups whole-wheat flour
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup walnut halves, coarsely chopped

1 In a small bowl, combine the raisins and 1/3 cup hot tap water. Set aside to soften.
2 In a large mixing bowl, stir together the honey and 1/2 cup of the lukewarm water. Add the yeast and stir to dissolve. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining 1-1/2 cups lukewarm water.
3 Add the whole-wheat flour, 1-1/2 cups of all-purpose flour, and the salt, stirring until well combined. Stir in enough of the remaining all-purpose flour so that the dough leaves the sides of the bowl.
4 Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead 5 to 10 minutes, adding more flour if necessary, until the dough is smooth, elastic, and slightly sticky.
5 Place the dough in a lightly oiled large mixing bowl, turning to coat. Cover with a damp cloth and set aside in a warm place to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1-1/2 hours. Lightly oil a large baking sheet.
6 Punch the dough down and turn onto a floured surface. Drain the raisins and pat dry with paper towels. Knead the raisins and walnuts into the dough. Shape into 1 large round loaf and place on the baking sheet. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise until almost doubled, about 30 minutes.
7 Preheat the oven to 425°F. With a paring knife, slash the top of the loaf. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 375°F and bake for 30 minutes, or until the loaf is nicely browned and the bottom sounds hollow when tapped. Cool on a rack before slicing. Makes 16 slices

Makes Makes 16 slices servings.
Per slice: 182 calories, 3.6g total fat (0.4g saturated), 0mg cholesterol, 4g dietary fiber, 34g carbohydrate, 6g protein, 293mg sodium.