Happy New Year to all me friends and readers! May it bring tons of happiness, good health, prosperity, and lots of loaves love!

My dear friend Cinzia from Cindystar hosts the BBD #45 xmas edition. She invited us to bake something special for the magical month of December and share our special ideas and materials to wrap/package the edible gifts. Unfortunately I am not good in wrapping gifts but I can bake bread, at least I thought so…

I had no time to bake a bread before Christmas. So I was quite happy when I saw the Irish Raisin Bread in the King Arthur Flour Blog. This has to be my Good Luck Bread for 2012!

Everything started fine. The dough rise properly until I incorporated the raisins, from this moment the dough didn’t rise at all. After two hours it looked like before. And this should be my good luck bread! Panic!

Bread Baking Day #45 - Xmas  Edition (last day of submission January 1, 2012)

Nevertheless I baked the bread and got a not so bad loaf. The crumb is a bit dense. I don’t mind, the man of the house can smash it against the door, to banish hunger from the land in the new year, anyway. It will even be easier to gather the pieces, as there will be bigger crumbs. ;-)

In the meantime I read the comments in the King Arthur Flour Blog, apparently the chemicals that comes with the raisins stop the yeast. I encountered this problem never before, because I normally use in rum soaked raisins.

Irish Good Luck Bread
makes 1 small loaf

Irish Good Luck Bread
By the way this bread goes perfectly with Cava. I tested it last night. ;-)

100 g wheat flour
100 g cool water
1/8 teaspoon instant yeast

all of the starter
220 g all-Purpose Flour
1 teaspoons salt
30 g potato flour or instant potato flakes
35 g brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons instant yeast
40 g butter
80 g lukewarm milk
100 g golden raisins, dark raisins, or a combination; or currants

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 tablespoon Vanilla flavored sugar
1/2 tablespoon cold water

To make the starter: Combine the flour, water, and yeast in a small bowl, mixing until all of the flour is moistened. Cover the bowl, and let the starter rest overnight (or for up to 20 hours or so), at room temperature.

To make the dough: Combine the starter with everything except the raisins. Mix and knead to make a smooth, soft dough. The dough will seem dry at first, but as you knead it’ll soften up.

Cover the dough and let it rise for 60 to 90 minutes, until it’s noticeably puffy though not necessarily doubled in bulk.

Gently deflate the dough. Knead in the raisins; your hands are the best tool here.

Shape the dough into a log, and place it into a 20 cm loaf pan. Cover and allow the dough to rise 60 to 90 minutes. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 180 C.

Uncover the bread. Mix the cinnamon, sugar, and water, and brush it over the loaf.

Bake the bread for 20 minutes. Tent it loosely with aluminum foil, and bake for an additional 20 to 25 minutes, until it’s golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers at least 87 C.

Remove the bread from the oven, and turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool. Cool completely before slicing. Wrap airtight, and store at room temperature for up to 5 days; for longer storage, wrap well and freeze.

Irish Good Luck Bread

This sweet treat is also my contribution to Initiative Sonntagssüss, this week hosted by Katrin of lingonsmak and to Susan’s YeastSpotting.