My husband is a raisin lover, and when it comes to bread—well, it just isn’t bread if it doesn’t have raisins in it. The orange not only gives a wonderful flavor, but the ascorbic acid in the orange makes a lighter bread. I make it in a Bosch bread machine, but it can be made by hand. This recipe makes six or seven loaves: some to eat, some to freeze, and some to give away!
4 cups warm water
1 cup canned pumpkin (may use 1½ cups cooked squash)
¼ cup honey or scant ½ cup sugar
1 whole orange, including half the peel
3 tablespoons instant dry yeast
½ cup gluten flour
½ cup dough conditioner (optional)
10-12 cups whole wheat bread flour
1½ tablespoons salt
5 cups raisins
1. Place 2 cups water in a blender along with the pumpkin, honey, whole orange cut in several pieces, and with half of the orange peel. Blend for 1 minute. Add remaining water, as needed, to blend freely. Measure total amount of liquid, adding more water until there are7 cups total mixture.
2. Place blended liquid in a mixing bowl and add yeast, gluten flour, dough conditioner (if you use it), and 6 cups of the flour. Beat with a wooden spoon for about 3 minutes or in a bread machine with a dough hook. Cover and let rise as a soft sponge until double.
3. Beat down and add the salt, raisins, and remaining flour in the amount needed to make a dough that can be kneaded by hand for about 15 minutes, or in your mixer for about 10 minutes.
4. Shape into six or seven loaves and let rise until double. Place in 400ºF, preheated oven, Turn down to 350ºF and bake for 40 minutes or until golden brown.
Variation: Orange Bread
Leave out the raisins and replace pumpkin with applesauce. Makes a delicious, moist, fragrant orange bread.