Thursday, September 16, 2010

Almond Raisin Bread

Yesterday I decided to bake the sweet bread dough again cos I realised I probably didn't do it entirely right the first time for my sausage cheese bread.

The last time I made the sweet bread dough I made it without a full understanding of how it works. So I went back to the Magic Bread book by Alex Goh and read in his preface that his book primarily focussed on "gelatinized dough". According to him, "gelatinized dough" (烫种面包) or scalded dough was first introduced by japanese chefs, and the texture is soft and springy which is well-liked by Asians. Well, that was the only thing he said about the sweet bread dough, nothing about the rationale behind scalding and chilling the bread dough overnight.

Then I read in Corner Cafe's post that resting and especially chilling the dough overnight apparently helps to make the dough stronger and more extensible, and hence easier to stretch and form into different kinds of shapes. I also read in HappyHomeBaker's post that scalding the dough with boiling water increases the water-binding capacity of the dough, so that less moisture is lost during and after baking.

So much about bread science. It's mind boggling once you delve into the details. Let's leave the bread science to the professional bakers. Amateur bakers like me, should only worry about how easy to bake the bread and how good it tastes, isn't it?

Adapted from Alex Goh's Magic Bread

Prepare 400g of sweet bread dough

adequate flaked almonds

50g butter
50g sugar
60g eggs (1 large egg)
1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
100g ground almonds
100g raisins

1. Prepare 400g of sweet bread dough and mould the dough round.

2. Let it rest for 10 min. Roll it thin into a 35x23 cm rectangular shape.

3. Spread almond fillings and sprinkle raisins on top. Roll it up like swiss roll.
(I made the mistake of adding the raisins and mixing it into the almond filling instead of sprinkling them on top. Luckily it was still relatively easy to spread the filling on the dough and the bread still turned out good, thank goodness).

4. Cut the dough into 10 pieces. Place them side by side into a 20cm round mould (greased and lined with greaseproof paper). Let it proof for 45 min to 1 hour (cover with greased clingwrap and place in a warm enclosed place).

5. Egg wash and sprinkle with some flaked almonds on top.

6. Bake at 175C in the lower shelf of the oven for 25-30 min.

Note: I baked the bread late at night, and after cooling it down, kept it in a bread bag (the paper bag which we got whenever we buy bread from the local bakery). You should fold the opening of the bag a few times or tape it with scotchtape and make sure it is airtight. This will keep the bread fresh for the next day. Then you just have to warm up the bread in the oven at 60-80 degrees the next day and the bread will taste as good as fresh.


  1. Your almond raisin rolls look very tasty! I borrowed this same book from the library recently, and I made the plain white sandwich bread yesterday. The result was fantastic. Upon cooling, the bread tasted better than any store bought ones :) However, this morning, the texture is not as feathery cottony soft, but taste as good as any commercial bread. I will try out a few other recipes from this book as I find that the dough proof so much faster, especially during the second rise, I always have problem with proofing for doughs made with tangzhong :(

  2. Hi HHB,

    I will try to make the plain sandwich bread too since it sounds so easy for u. Looking forward to ur up-and-coming bakes from Alex Goh's book. :)

  3. HI

    Is it ok to replace the cinnamon powder with something else? Reason been I dont really like cinnamon taste :)

    For the plain sandwich bread, as it's not feathery soft next day, does it meant that we had to heat it every day?

    I had just had a hands on on bread making and noticed that it will fill up my tummy faster/fuller than those buy from store. I felt full after 2 bun (with no ingredients as testing) as compare to those I bought from cake shop which I norm eat more than 2 to have full feeling :) Wonder why.... hahaa.. :)

    1. Hi Wendy,

      Yes, you can omit the cinnamon powder if you don't it. But what are you gonna substitute it with?

      I explained in the sweet bread dough post why home-made breads don't taste as good the 2nd day, it 's because we do not put any conservatives or bread improver in our dough. It's perfectly normal that it is not as "feathery soft" the next day, otherwise everybody can open their own bakery business isn't it? To keep it fresh, you have to seal it tightly, make sure you don't expose the bread to air. If it has turned a little hard, you can just heat it up in the oven or microwave (high for 1 min) if you wish.

      Home-made breads are full of home-made goodness, we don't stinge on the ingredients unlike commercial bakeries where the breads are usually more airy (means less ingredients and less cost), that's why the home-made breads are more compact and filling for your stomach. :)


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