Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Payoff

I feel a little guilty. I was raised Catholic, so that's not surprising but, geez, all I did was pick up a sleepy young Englishwoman at the airport and give her a bed overnight, not nearly enough effort to deserve a gift of beautiful bread generously studded with raisins, moistly crumb-y in the center and flavored with spices.

Young Naomi has shared her mother Judy's recipe for the bread with us, first the official one that comes from some long-lost cookery book in England, then later her own tips: here goes!

Judy says: "Soak overnight 1 cup of leftover tea and 1 cup raisins (this bit is crucial for making the raisins really soft). Then add 1 egg, 2 cups of self-raising flour, spice and sugar to taste. Mix and scrape into small-ish loaf tin. Cook 300 degrees F for 1 hour."

Naomi adds: "I usually mix in a few more raisins, and sometimes some more tea, too, if I want a gooey consistency. I've found self-raising flour isn't always enough to make the bread rise, so often add a teaspoon of baking powder too. Usually just a couple of tablespoons max of sugar is sufficient. Normally I use just mixed spice, but for the one I made for you I didn't have any so instead combined some freshly ground all-spice, cloves and a dash of nutmeg. I find 1 hour is usually too long...instead I leave it in at a slightly higher heat (350) for 40 mins or so (check after 30).


I didn't feel so guilty that it kept me from gobbling up the lovely bread, of course! At this rate, I'm going to be meeting every flight from England, holding a sign that says "Bed and Breakfast in Return for Cherished Family Recipes."

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Blogger Greg said...

Will work for recipes! :)

Sunday, September 14, 2008  
Blogger dancingmorganmouse said...

toasted or plain?
with or without butter?
Oh, and why can't I see your Mayo post?

Sunday, September 14, 2008  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

Toasted! With butter!
Oh, excuse me. This isn't my blog.

That would make a good Christmasy near-pannetone.

Sunday, September 14, 2008  
Blogger Dagny said...

Hmmm. I think I know what I will be attempting next weekend. The big decision will be what tea to use. Or maybe that will be the experiment. Make a few loaves with different teas. After all the folks at work will eat just about anything I bring in.

Sunday, September 14, 2008  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Greg, I'll keep that sign for when I'm panhandling outside the BART station.

Morgan, Toasted! With Butter, of course! Mayo post coming in a day or so!

Cookiecrumb, step right up - you answered just as I would! :-) In my view, this bread was even better than pannetone.

Dagny, good point! I never thought about which tea but I expect she used English Breakfast Tea, since that's what Naomi brought me. I'll be interested to hear about your experiments!

Monday, September 15, 2008  
Anonymous Naomi said...

If you make the bread with a gooey consistency, then it's great without being toasted too. And I recommend it warm with honey....

I used Earl Grey tea, but only because that was all I had in the cupboard. I'm sure anything would work - might be interesting to see how choice of tea affects the flavor though!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Naomi, thanks for the additional tips and info. I guess my preference for virtually any bread is toasted and slathered with butter.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008  

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