Soft Raisin Bread Loaf
A tasty loaf, great with jam or marmalade or even just with butter
Sieve about a heaped sieve-full of flour into a large mixing bowl then add the yeast and sugar. In another bowl, mix the hot and cold water and the olive oil. It should feel warm but not too hot as very hot water will kill the yeast.
Slowly add the water/olive oil to the flour, mixing constantly until the dough has a sticky texture. Use your hands to ensure all the water is absorbed by the flour. The salt can be added at this time.
Sprinkle some flour onto a work surface and roll the dough over it. Knead the dough by pushing into it with the heal of your hand and folding the dough in on itself. Keep kneading until the dough feels elastic.
When the dough is smooth and stretchy, put back in the bowl and cover with a warm damp cloth. Leave it to rise for 1-2 hours (tip - a microwave oven is a good place to let the dough rise but please don\'t turn it on while the dough is inside!).
While the dough is rising, soak the dried raisins in hot water for at least 30 minute then drain.
When the dough has risen, sprinkle some more flour on a work-surface and knead the dough again for about 10 minutes. when the dough becomes smooth again scatter the raisins on the work-surface and knead the dough over them until they are all picked up.
Keep kneading until the raisins are evenly spaced throughout the loaf. When done, shape the dough into the desired shape and place in a baking tin lined with baking paper and leave to rise for a further 30 minutes. Place in the oven at around 150 Celcius (around UK Gas mark 3-4) or medium low heat and bake for around 30-45 minutes until the bread is golden brown. When done, remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack