Whole Wheat with Pecans and Golden Raisins

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By Jeffrey Hamelman

Published 2004

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Wheat Flavored, Sweet Flavored, and Nutty, the ingredients in this bread combine in a balanced and flavorful way. Peanut butter is a happy addition between a couple of slices, and the flavors are even more intensified when the bread is toasted. Pour warm water over the golden raisins and let them sit for up to 30 minutes to soften. Drain the raisins well before the mix. This step can be done just before mixing, or a day ahead. The pecans can be roasted prior to mixing, but keep the roasting light—overroasting makes them bitter.

U.S. Metric Home Baker’s %
Whole-Wheat Flour 10 lb 5 kg 1 lb (3⅝ cups) 50%
Bread Flour 10 lb 5 kg 1 lb (3⅝ cups) 50%
Water 13.6 lb 6.8 kg 1 lb, 5.8 oz ( cups) 68%
Salt .4 lb .2 kg .6 oz (1 T) 2%
Yeast .3 lb, fresh .15 kg, fresh .16 oz, instant dry ( tsp) 1.5 %
Golden Raisins, Soaked and Drained (see headnote) 3 lb 1.5 kg 4.8 oz (1 cup) 15%
Pecans 3 lb 1.5 kg 4.8 oz (1⅜ cups) 15%
Total Yield 40.3 lb 20.15 kg 4 lb, .2 oz 201.5 %


  1. MIXING: Add all the ingredients except the raisins and pecans to the mixing bowl. In a spiral mixer, mix on first speed for 3 minutes in order to incorporate the ingredients thoroughly. The dough consistency should be moderately loose. Turn the mixer to second speed and mix for about 3 minutes more, until a moderately strong gluten development has been achieved. Add the drained raisins and pecans, and mix on first speed only, just until the raisins and nuts are thoroughly incorporated. Desired dough temperature: 76°F.
  2. BULK FERMENTATION: 2 hours (or overnight retarding).
  3. FOLDING: Fold the dough once, after 1 hour.
  4. DIVIDING AND SHAPING: The dough can be made into pan loaves, round or oblong loaves, or rolls. (If making pan loaves, the dimensions of the pan will determine dough weight. For a loaf pan measuring 8 by 4 by 2½ inches, about 18 ounces of dough will make a good fit. Larger commercial strap pans with dimensions of 9 by 5 by 2¾ inches will take 1.5 pounds of dough.) Divide the dough into the desired weights and preshape lightly into rounds. Place the dough pieces on a lightly floured work surface, seams up. Cover the rounds with plastic and let rest 10 to 20 minutes, until relaxed. Shape into blunt cylinders for pan loaves. For round or oblong loaves or rolls, shape accordingly. Cover the loaves with baker’s linen and plastic so that air currents don’t crust the surface.
  5. FINAL FERMENTATION: 1 to 1½ hours at 76°F.
  6. BAKING: With normal steam, 450°F. The raisins will contribute a lot of color, so lower the oven temperature by about 15°F after 20 minutes to finish the bake in a receding oven. Eighteen-ounce loaves baked in loaf pans will take 30 to 35 minutes to bake, with 1.5-pound loaves in the larger strap pans taking closer to 40 minutes. Freestanding loaves weighing 1.5 pounds will bake in about 40 minutes, with round loaves taking slightly longer than oblong ones.