Spiced Raisin Bread

Slightly sweet, slightly spicy raisin bread. My favorite way to eat it is toasted with natural peanut butter. Or maybe with some gorgonzola and honey? That is just a thought, but it felt right. This recipe will make two good sized loaves. You can fiddle with the amounts and add ins by adding more or less raisins or use dried apricots, apples, or cranberries. You could also add nuts or seeds to make it more like a granola bread, flax and oats would stand up to this bread. You can substitute margarine or vegetable oil to replace the butter if you are vegan just make sure it’s not the light margarine as it’s mostly water. If you do make two loaves slice and freeze one as it toasts up just as good or if one loaf starts to go stale you can use this to make a delicious French toast!

Spiced Raisin Bread

  • 1 cup of raisins
  • 1/4 cup butter melted
  • 1 cup of boiling water
  • 1 cup of room temperature water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 tbs molasses
  • 1 tbs of yeast
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Chinese five spice (or allspice)
  • 1 cup of whole wheat flour
  • 4 cups of all purpose flour

Method

Boil water and preheat oven to the lowest setting.

In a large ceramic or metal bowl add raisins and 1 cup of boiling water. Cut cold butter into chunks and add butter, molasses, spices and salt to the soaking raisins. You may need to stir until the butter is completely melted by the hot water.

Test water temperature with finger and add 1 more cup of water. If the water is still very hot, add cold water. If it has cooled down to almost body temperature add approximately the same temperature water.

Once liquid is at a good temperature, add yeast and stir to dissolve completely.

Stir in one cup of whole wheat flour, until there are no lumps. When dough is smooth, add the white flour one cup at a time. This dough should be pretty sticky  and I find I usually can bring it together with minimal use of my hands. However, if you are having difficulty, you may need to start kneading the bread in the bowl as you add the last cup of flour.

Shut off your oven. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and/or a towel and let rest in the oven until it has doubled its size. This will take about 40-60 minutes.

Prepare two loaf pans with non-stick spray.

Separate dough as evenly as possible into 2 loaves. Let dough rise in loaf pans, for an additional 30 minutes.

Pre-heat oven to 375F while dough it on its second rise.

Bake in oven for around 20 minutes. Remove loaves, brush with melted butter/margarine and rotate their positions when you put them back in. Cook for an additional 15-20 minutes until deep brown. They should sound hollow when tapped.

When bread is finished cooking, remove from oven and brush again with melted butter or margarine. Let rest in the loaf pan for about 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.

Although it will take all your strength, let the loaves cool before cutting into them or you tear them to bits. MMMmmmm warm toasty raisin bread with almond butter and honey… drool.

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