If one does not live by bread alone, then one has never eaten freshly baked carrot bread. There’s something incredibly satisfying about pulling a loaf of bread out of the oven that you made with your own two hands, but when that loaf is perfectly browned with a crackly crust, dusted with flour and dotted with raisins… Well, there’s just nothing like it.
This is yet another Jim Lahey creation, and I promise I will soon start making things that don’t have his name behind them. When you bake a loaf of bread like this, though, it’s hard to want to make anything else. I keep scrolling down to the pictures below and thinking, “Did I really make that?” Well yes, I did. And it was unbelievably easy, and it tastes unbelievably good.
- 3 cups bread flour
- 1 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp instant yeast
- 1 1/2 cups carrot juice*
- 3/4 cup currants (golden raisins are a fine substitute)
- 3/4 cup walnuts (or pecans)
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds (optional)
*If you don’t have a juicer, you can find 100% carrot juice at Whole Foods and probably plenty of other grocery stores.
I skipped taking photos of the first few steps because I documented basically the same thing a few days ago. Click here if you’d like to see photos.
Mix the flour, salt, and yeast in a large bowl. Add the carrot juice, and mix to combine with a wooden spoon or your hands. If the dough isn’t very wet and sticky, add a little more carrot juice or a little water. I had to add a few tablespoons of water to get a sticky dough. Add the raisins/currants and nuts and mix to incorporate – it’s easiest just to use your hands for this part. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature for 12-18 hours.
After 12-18 hours the dough should be bubbly and about doubled in size. Using a rubber spatula scrape the dough out of the bowl to a lightly floured surface. Fold up the sides to create a ball.
Liberally dust a kitchen towel with flour and cumin seeds (if using). Transfer the dough seam-side down to the towel, loosely fold the edges of the towel over the dough, and set aside for another hour or two of rising. With about 30 minutes remaining preheat the oven to 450 with a covered pot inside. When it’s baking time, remove the pot from the oven, carefully transfer the dough, seam-side up, to the pot, put the lid back on, and bake it for 25 minutes.
Remove the lid and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes, until the crust is deeply browned.
Transfer the bread to a rack to cool before slicing. Doesn’t that look like a professional made it?
Yum! This is perfect any time of year, but I think it would be especially fun for Halloween or any fall celebration.
Feel free to experiment with the fillings. I used golden raisins and pecans because I didn’t have currants or walnuts, and it worked well. I think dried cherries and walnuts would be a good combo, too. I’m a little undecided on the cumin seeds, and I might skip them next time. Make this bread, play around with the fillings, and enjoy!
If you have any queries about the recipe feel free to contact us here.