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46 Pastry & Baking
North America
Artisan Baker
Publisher’s Note:
Ciril Hitz is the Department Chair for
the International Baking and Pastry Institute at Johnson &
Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island. He has been
recognized both nationally and internationally with numerous
awards and accomplishments. More information on Ciril and
his work can be viewed on his web site:
hhh…the raisin. This tiny, unassuming piece of dried
fruit has captured my attention lately, and for good
reason. The amount of flavor that you can impart to a
final product, particularly through the process of maceration, is
seemingly endless. Many cultures have long recognized the raisin
as a welcome burst of sweet flavor among savory dishes. They are
one of the most affordable dried fruits available, and the health
benefits they offer is just one more incentive to befriend them.
I have a confession to make. Until my adult life, I did not really
embrace the raisin. I am sure it has to do with the fact that when I
was a child, raisins found their way into practically every birthday
cake I can remember. Naturally, I rebelled and shunned this little
fruit for no good reason. It was not until later in life I developed an
appreciation for the potential of the sweet raisin.
Over the past few years, I have had the opportunity to experience
first hand the versatility of the raisin through the efforts of the
California Raisin Marketing Board. They have encouraged the
development of new ways to introduce the raisin into baked products
through their national competition, “America’s Best Raisin Bread”
contest. I have served on the panel of judges since the first contest,
and each year the number of entries grows and draws out the creative
juices in all levels of bakers; from students to artisan bakers to
commercial bakers.
As a homage to the raisin, I have developed this version of an
orange raisin bostock. While I can’t enter the contest myself (and
boy would I love to be one of the twelve winners of the 5-day
California tour!), perhaps this will inspire some of you to think
about using raisins in a different way. They are an easy way to change
things up…and California is calling! Happy Baking!
For more information about the contest, visit
Orange Raisin
Grams Pounds
and ounces dough%
Bread flour
4# 6.5 oz
1.8 oz
Granulated sugar
3.5 oz
Instant yeast
.77 oz
Whole milk
2# 10 oz
Unsalted butter
12.7 oz
Golden raisins
1# 5.1 oz
Pain de Mie with Raisins
(yield: 3 loaves)