If you’ve ever spent any time in South Florida, you know that good bread is nearly impossible to find. In fact, when I want great bread, I find the best solution is to simply make it. Luckily I love the process of mixing, kneading and baking, punctuated by numerous periods of idle proofing and resting. This happens to be one
of my favorite breads, a crusty loaf infused with fragrant fennel and studded with sweet golden raisins. The technique comes from one of my favorite bread bakers, Emmanuel Hadjiandreou, from his book How to Make Bread. I adapted Emmanuel’s Pecan Raisin Bread recipe, upping the ratio of whole wheat flour and
substituting crushed fennel seeds for the pecans. This recipe can easily be doubled, and the bread freezes well, as long as it’s well wrapped. To do this loaf justice, serve it with a European-style butter, such as President or Plugra. It’s also wonderful toasted with just about everything.