I have tried baking with various additions - cheese, nuts, chocolate and raisins. The latter go very nicely with a sourdough loaf. Raisins are sweet, up to 72% sugar by weight, but something about their texture, or residual grape flavor makes them more suitable for sourdough bread than other sweet items.
Man has been producing raisins for a long time: the Phoenicians and Armenians produced grapes before the time of Christ and traded them throughout out the Mediterranean. And the method of production - drying on racks using warm air - hasn't changed a lot either. The grape skin, has a layer of wax - the cuticle - that makes it difficult to remove the water from the grape.
And, we live near ground zero for raisin production: about 185,000 acres are devoted to raisin grape growing in our state.
This Saturday's Bake
I will bake a raisin multi grain loaf, which uses a load of raisins (45% of the flour weight) and white and rye flour. I test baked this last week and the recipe turned out hearty loaves, pefect for slicing, toasting and serving with butter or jam.
Your Canadian Baker