Try Some Galician Bread With Raisins

By: Stephen Morgan

Somehow when you do a little research on the cuisine of an individual country it is quite easy to come up almost with a common theme, a common name for the food for that country. Such as English food, German food but when you consider Spanish food or if you wish to be a bit more accurate about how you look at it, food and recipes that originate from Spain there is a very convincing argument that would say it's not that simple.

The relatively recent unification of Spain as a single political entity is really the main driving force that lies behind this theory as the country is an amalgamation of the various autonomous regions that lie within it. These autonomous regions have been slowly amalgamated through a number of different processes throughout history but have all kept their own distinctive features.

There are 17 different autonomous regions that come together to form modern-day Spain and the majority of these regions have their own cultures that is the majority of them have their own linguistic variations and in some cases different languages and they certainly have their own individual cuisines.

One of the most distinctive of the autonomous sub regions is that of Galicia which is Spain's most north-westerly region. Spain's most westerly autonomous region it is surrounded on two sides by the Atlantic Ocean and as you can imagine for a region that has so much rugged coastline a lot of Galician cuisine is very much based on seafood and seafood based recipes.

That having said not all of Galician cuisine is all seafood based and the region can lay claim to some quite gorgeous recipes and provincial dishes and are all well worth trying out.

Lets top talking about the food and get down to business. Let's eat!

As with cooking all types of bread you need to do the preparation for this at least 24 hours in advance if you are going to be making the starter dough. If you're not then continue with the recipe that we're about to describe, just remember to add an extra teaspoon yeast.

If you don't make the starter dough then the ingredients you would need would be as follows:

15 g fresh yeast
300 ml of water
250 g of strong white bread flour.

Cream the yeast with a little of the war in a fairly large bowl and then take this yeast cream and mix it with the remaining water and mix with the flour. At this point it is wise to remember to ensure that the bowl that you are using is large enough to allow plenty of room for the dough to expand. Cover this bowl with a damp cloth and then leave at room temperature for at least 24 hours and if you can even better leave it for two days. If you're not ready to use the starter dough just yet you can keep it in a jar the refrigerator. A sign that the starter dough is still fresh and can be used is that it should smell almost like champagne. Take the raisins that you are going to use and put them in a heatproof bowl and add boiling water to cover the raisins and then leave these to soak what you make bread.

For the bread, the ingredients that you will need to use would be as follows:

150 g of raisins.
600 ml of water
200 g of fresh yeast
450 g of strong white bread flour
300 g of rye flour
50 g of cool meal
Salt
Oil for oiling
Sifted plain flour dusting the bread with.

Take a few tablespoons all walked to the east and like he did with the starter dough stir it into a creamy paste.

Take the bread flour the rye flour and the corn meal and mix them all together in a large mixing bowl. At this point at the generous tablespoon of salt a tablespoon of yeast and half of your starter dough.
The next stage is to add enough water to make a soft but not too sticky dough out of the entire mixture. Take this dough and tip it out onto a large flat surface.

Now for the physical part of the action to be brutally blunt, if this is handled well this part of the process could be so much more rewarding than taking a trip to the local gym. You need to knead the dough for about 10 minutes. This is going to be tough initially with all the heavy rye flour and the cornmeal. Once the dough starts to feel quite elastic the idea is to drain the raisins out of the water and knead the entire mixture together.

Transfer of this mixture to a slightly oiled bowl cover up with a baking sheet or some Clingfilm. Let this mixture rise at room temperature for at least one hour or a general rule of thumb here would be leave it until it is doubled in size.

Take the dough out start manipulating and punching the bread and shape it into a large flat round shape about 12 inches across. Take the bread put it onto a oiled baking sheet and cover with a damp towel and leave it to rise again until it's doubled approximately in size.

At this point take the often and preheat the oven to 220 degrees centigrade or gas mark 7.

Take the loaf and sprinkle the top of the loaf with the sifted plain flour and bake for 10 minutes. Then reduce the oven temperature to 190 centigrade or gas mark 5 and bake the loaf for a further 40 minutes. Once the bread just slips off the baking sheet and the bottom sounds hollow when you turn it upside down and you tap it. Place the loaf back into the often directly onto an oven shelf for a couple of minutes longer till the base is nice and crisp.

Then leave and let the bread to cool on a wire rack and then eat.

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