Cinnamon & raisin bread will forever remind me of my grandmother, May.
Now there was a woman who gave in to my every food craving… more often than not I craved crap like those fake chocolate croissants that come in plastic, foil packaging. Or cookies. Or fast-food from a Greek chain called Goodies. (my mum didn’t let me eat any junk at all, so my summers with May I really went overboard)
Actually, thinking about it, the woman couldn’t cook worth a damn. And for the most part, she fed me a lot of junk food… or force fed me the gross concoctions she called meals. Man, I really appreciated my great grandmother Nania & my great aunt Lila back then. They lived in the apartment above May & they used to bring me down home cooked food. Soutzoukakia & pastitsio were my favorite.
In fact, one summer May sent me home so fat, my mum called her up & threatened that if I ever returned home that porky again, she’d never be allowed to see me unsupervised.
Still, not all my memories of food with her are bad.
Case in point, raisin bread.
On the weekends, May would take me on a long drive through the mountains so that we could go to the amazing beaches in Sounio. Every time we took that journey, we’d stop at the same bakery along the way where she would buy us a loaf of freshly baked raisin bread… and by the time we’d made it to the beach, the whole loaf had been polished off.
I loved & hated going to the beach with May. The woman used to make me wear floaties until I was at least 6, even though I’d clearly been a water baby since the day I was born. I was mortified every time.
It’s funny the things we remember.
She was a peculiar woman, but I loved her very much, and I know she loved me, that much I never doubted.
– 2tbs instant yeast
– 3 tbs brown sugar
– 60ml (4 tbs) hot water
– 500ml milk, warm
– 185g potato startch
– 100g tapioca flour
– 65g arrow root
– 90g buckwheat flour
– 60g oat flour (certified GF)
– 1 tsp guar gum
– 1.5 tsp xanthan gum
– 2 tsp baking powder
– 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
– 1 tbs cinnamon
– 150g raisins, the small black ones
1. combine the yeast, sugar, water & milk in a bowl. Give it a little stir & set aside for 15 minutes to allow the yeast time to activate.
2. to the yeast mixture, add the potato, tapioca, arrow root, buckwheat, & oat. Mix thoroughly, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, & allow to rise in a warm place for 12 to 24 hours. (the longer the rise, the better the taste).
3. after the first rise, add in the rest of the ingredients & mix thoroughly. Pour the mix into a greased bread tin (10cm X 20cm) & allow to rise for a further 3 hours.
4. bake in a preheated oven @ 180C for 1.5 to 2 hours. Bread is done when you can tap the crust & a hollow sound comes from deep within.
5. remove from the oven & allow to cool for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack.
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