Yes, I know raisin bread is readily available at almost any market. But I love to bake bread, it makes the house smell good and baking bread is like a science project so when I pull it off, I feel like I've accomplished something impressive! Although it's not hard, just takes a while to wait for the rising. Totally worth it.
Basic Raisin Bread, makes 3 loaves
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup margarine or butter, softened (I used butter)
1 cup raisins
8 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons milk
3/4 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Heat the milk in a small saucepan until it bubbles, then remove it from the heat. Let it cool until lukewarm.
Dissolve the yeast in warm water, and set it aside until the yeast is frothy. Mix in eggs, sugar, butter or margarine, salt, and raisins. Stir in the cooled milk. Add the flour gradually to make a stiff dough.
Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for a few minutes. Place it in a large, greased, mixing bowl, and turn it to grease the surface of the dough. Cover it with a damp cloth and place it in a warm place (I have a gas oven, so I put it in there where the heat of the pilot light makes it just warm enough). Let it rise until doubled. Mine took about an hour and a half.
Roll out on a lightly floured surface into a large rectangle 1/2 inch thick. Moisten the dough with 2 tablespoons milk. Mix together 3/4 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons cinnamon, and sprinkle the mixture on top of the moistened dough. Yes, use all of it. I didn't, and I later wished I had. Roll it up tightly (good luck with that); the roll should be about 3 inches in diameter. Cut it into thirds, and tuck under ends. Place the loaves into well greased 9 x 5 inch pans. Lightly grease tops of loaves. Let rise again. The recipe I found said to let it rise for an hour, so that's what I did; the resulting bread was really good, but pretty dense and I can't help thinking if I'd given it maybe another half hour or so to rise, it might have been lighter. You might want to try that...or not, as I said my bread was good the way it was.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 45 minutes, or until the loaves are lightly browned and sound hollow when you knock on them. Remove the loaves from the pans, and brush with melted butter or margarine. Let cool before slicing.
Okay, so I'm no Rachel Ray. But I do like to cook, and I LOVE to try new recipes especially when they involve things that are not good for me.
So with no regard for health and nutrition, I am posting recipes I find and try that are worth passing on. Please experiment with them! There's always some new twist that can make any recipe even better. If you try something new with them that you'd like to share, sign the guestbook and let everyone know so we can play too!
Last updated: October 29, 2012