Lush Life

To be a lush chef, does not mean to drink in excess - this can result in scary fires and bad dishes. A lush chef is one who enjoys gourmet cooking/baking, often with fresh ingredients and the smart use of one's home bar. If there happens to be half a bottle of beer, a glass of wine, or a sip of brandy left over...well, one cannot be wasteful. I give you permission to imbibe.

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The Lush Chef
Twitter: @thelushchef Provenance: Santa Monica Dish: Coq au Vin Spirit: Whiskey Wine: Malbec Beer: Hefeweizen Farmer's Market: Santa Monica on Main Street
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Jan 28, 2014

Rum Raisin Bread

Libations used: 2-3 Tbs rum...
Libations left over: The whole bottle, so make this Cider Smash...
It's been ages since I've baked, and man it felt good.  I'm loving the start of this new year and looking forward to turning the oven on more and getting myself covered in flour.  I had all day Sunday to play around, so this Rum Raisin Bread from My Baking Addiction was an easy, little project.  You just need plenty of time to let the dough rise.  If you don't have a dough hook for your stand mixer, don't fret.  I happened to not get one with my Craigslist purchase and have made do by using a little elbow grease.  Kneading bread is a terrific workout!  Use any kind of cheap, dark pirate rum you have.  The original recipe only calls for 1/2 cup of raisins, but if you want even more (which I recommend), then up it to 3/4 of a cup and use 3 Tbs of rum.  I sliced up this entire loaf the next day and distributed pieces amongst the neighbors.  It tastes terrific lightly toasted and slathered in butter or peanut butter!

Rum Raisin Bread - makes 1 big loaf

  • 2-3 Tbs dark rum, depending on how many raisins you use (I used Meyers's Rum)
  • 1/2 cup-3/4 cup raisins
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 Tbs heavy cream
  • 2 Tbs unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp instant yeast
  • 3 cups unbleached bread flour
  • 2 Tbs nonfat dry milk
  • 1 tsp salt
- In a small bowl, thoroughly coat the raisins with the rum, and let them sit for about 30 minutes (stirring about halfway through).
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook or a large bowl (just use your hands), combine the water, heavy cream, butter, vanilla, egg, brown sugar and yeast.
- In another small bowl, add the flour, dry milk and salt and thoroughly combine.
- With the machine on low speed, or kneading with your hands, gradually add the dry ingredients.  Gradually bring the mixer up to medium speed and knead for 7 minutes, or until all the dry ingredients have been incorporated.  You should have a smooth dough ball.
- Drain the raisins and knead them into the dough.
- Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover it with a moist towel or washcloth, allowing it to rise for 1-2 hours, or until it has doubled in size.
- Spray a 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- Gently deflate the dough and shape it into the loaf pan, making sure it fills the corners.
- Cover and let it rise for another hour and a half.
- Preheat the oven to 350 and bake it for 30-35 minutes, or until it's golden brown and the internal temperature reads 190 on an instant read thermometer.
- Let the loaf cool for 5-10 minutes before removing from the pan.