Raisin Bread – Sylvias Fav

Raisin Bread My Neighbours Favourite

This is Sylvias Fav! She loves the added sweetness that the fennel brings mixed with the flavour of rosemary. Please read my notes in the sourdough page on starter and leaven before you begin. You will need to have a mature starter and active leaven before you get going on any sourdough recipe. For this recipe we going to use whole wheat, spelt, potato flakes, rye & white. Add raisins on second last fold and stretch. Note use as much or as little as you like my recommended quantity is simply a guide.
Prep Time 1 hr 30 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Rest Time 1 hr
Total Time 3 hrs 5 mins
Course bread, Side Dish
Cuisine American, French
Servings 12 slice


  • Dutch Oven, Measuring Cup, Mixing Bowl, Thermometer, Scale, Scoring Knife, Banneton Basket or Proofing Bowl, Wooden Spoon. 6" cake pan


  • 325 gm white organic flour
  • 25 gm whole wheat hard
  • 25 gm light rye
  • 10 gm potato flakes
  • 10 gm Spelt flakes
  • 2 gm rosemary
  • 4 seeds fennel
  • 270 gm water
  • 90 gm active leaven
  • 200 ml of Raisins


  • Mix your flour, flakes, fennel & rosemary so mixture is well distributed then add 225 gm of water of your total water at 28 degrees (warm); mix well so no flour is left unabsorbed. It is common practice to use your hands for this.
    mix flour and water
  • Let the mixture sit it will develop gluten, this it is called autolyze; autolyze lessens the time needed to knead or fold and stretch your dough as it begins to develop the gluten during this stage. The dough temperature needs to between 23- 28 degrees to develop gluten’ & sugar so once you add the water keep in a warm spot. You can use a common trick of turning the oven light on and placing inside. The temperature should be monitored as you do not want it to hot or too cold. Let the mixture sit for 20-30 minutes.
  • Now add your leaven, mix well with your hands, then let it sit for another 60 minutes; make sure to monitor dough temperature, keeping it between 23 – 28 degrees. If you are using the oven by turning on the light on, make sure you monitor as it can get to warm; turn off light if the temperature starts to gets too high.
  • After an hour (or so) add your salt by sprinkling it evenly over your dough; add 20 gm of water (28-32 degrees) and mix well with hands. This is now considered to be the end of the autolyze. This is also where I start to fold the dough in bowl; folding it back on its self and push down; do this until the mixture starts to get sticky again.
  • Continue to add the remaining water in 15 -20 gm’s in allotments; folding the dough back onto itself repeatably until it starts to be sticky again; essentially you are kneading the bread, continue to do this until all your water is gone. Let dough sit in the same warm spot for another 15-20 minutes allowing it to settle and ferment.
  • Now you can now start to stretch and fold the dough. To stretch and fold, grab one corner of dough start pulling up as much as the dough will allow then fold dough back onto itself, rotate 90 degrees and do the same until you complete a circle; typically, this is done 3–4 times at regular intervals, I use 15 – 20 minutes in between each F&S. On 3rd or 2nd last Fold & Stretch, is a good time to add inclusions (in this case the raisins) as this will help distribute them nicely through the dough, then fold and stretch; let sit then one last fold and stretch. After folding and stretching is complete let the dough sit until its risen by roughly 30-40 per cent; this should take 60 -120 min, it will depend on the climate you are in.
    stretching dough
  • Take the dough out of your container; place on a lightly floured countertop. Fold the dough back on itself, taking care to be a little gentler now with dough. Turn the dough over with a dough knife (if you have one); sprinkle a little flour on top; and tighten up by pushing in on the bottom and rotating at the same time. Let the dough sit for 15 – 20 minutes (bench rest).
  • Flip the dough over seam side up and place on parchment paper dusted with corn meal; place in a formingbowl. Now you can stitch the bread; Stitching is taking a small piece of the outside part of your dough and pulling it back to the middle of the dough; applying a little pressure so that it sticks to itself. This procedure tightens up your dough into a nice ball, which makes for a better rise. You can now add some garnish at this point as well, seeds, nuts, rosemary whatever you fancy. Leave in a warm spot (oven w/ light on) or just through some tea towels over container; monitor rise you are looking for small rise say 20% as dough will continue to rise in the refrigerator; try to catch on the rise, do not let it over proof as it makes for a flat loaf, you’ll get better at this as you make more bread and start knowing your dough. Now cover and place in the fridge for the night.
  • Next day, preheat oven to 550 degrees F and place the Dutch oven in to for 45 minutes. In the meantime, you can now easily score your loaf with a scoring knife, if not available just use a sharp knife. Scoring allows the dough to open up on your cuts during its oven rise. From here my go to method is steaming. see my page on this site for steaming bread.
    scoring dough
  • The Coles notes on steaming are; pour 50mls of hot water in Dutch Oven; then take the bottom of a cake mold (6”) place upside down, be careful not to burn hands. Now place dough in parchment paper on top of cake pan and return to oven at 450 for 30 minutes. Take out and baste with olive oil; return to oven for 5 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let sit on a grid or rack for 1 hr before cutting.
  • Or use the traditional method & Take the Dutch oven out and place dough in the Dutch oven along with the parchment paper. Take a spray bottle and give it a couple of sprays of water; this helps in keeping the crust soft, place lid back on & place in oven for 5 minutes; then turn down the temperature down to 450 degrees for 30 minutes; again, these times will vary as ovens vary. Take out of the oven and remove lid; loaf should be golden brown at this point. Pour a little olive oil over top and use a brush to spread over the top of the loaf; this aids to a nice soft crust. Place back in the oven for 5-10 minutes without lid; remove from oven, the loaf should be a darker
    dough dutch oven


Keyword Artisan Bread, Baking Bread in Dutch Oven, how to make bread in a Dutch oven, Rasin Bread