Raisin Nut Layer Bread

Raisin Nut Layer Bread
1 1/2 cups warm 1% milk (105-115 degrees F.)
2 envelopes Active Dry Yeast (about 2 tablespoons)
3 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups walnut halves
1 1/2 cups seedless raisins
1/2 cup sugar, divided
1 tablespoon lemon zest (fine grated lemon peel)
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cinnamon sugar*

Create a sponge by heating milk to 105-115 degrees (milk should be comfortably warm, but not hot); pour milk into large mixing bowl and sprinkle yeast over milk, stir to mix. Allow yeast to dissolve (about 5-10 minutes); stir in 1 cup flour and beat until smooth. Mixture should be the consistency of pancake batter. Cover bowl, place in warm place and until bubbly and raised double in bulk (between 30 to 60 minutes) creating a bread dough ‘sponge.’

Prepare filling while sponge is rising. Finely chop nuts and grind raisins; or, place nuts, raisins, 1/4 cup sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon in a food processor. Jog processor to chop nuts and grind raisins. Mixture should be fine and crumbly – do not over processor creating a paste. Set aside.

Heat butter just melted, but not hot. Stir 2 cups flour, melted butter, salt, and 1/4 cup sugar into sponge. Gradually knead in enough more flour to make soft, almost sticky dough. Divide dough in half. Roll each dough half out on a floured surface into a 16-inch circle. Place one piece of bread dough on a lightly oiled 16-inch pizza pan or on a flat baking sheet (if pan is rimmed, turn pan over and use the flat bottom). Sprinkle with prepared raisin nut mixture. Place second piece of dough over raisins and nuts. Gently pull bottom piece of dough up and over top dough, pinching edges together to create a seal between the two pieces and a rolled outer edge. Using kitchen shears snip 7-9 vent holes in top crust. Sprinkle top with cinnamon and sugar; cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rise until almost double in bulk.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove wrap over bread and bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and baked through. Slice into 12-16 wedges – or cut in diamond shapes. Serve warm or cold. Bread goes well with cold milk.

This bread is a cross between sweet Chicago Style Stuffed pizza, pocket bread and cinnamon rolls. It makes a nice bread for brunch or a delightful afternoon treat. Makes 1 round flat bread and serves 12-16

Nutrition was calculated for 16 servings.

* Stir together 5 teaspoons sugar and 3/4-1 teaspoon ground cinnamon.

For nutrition information go to www.UtahDairyCouncil.com

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