New England Raisin Bread
Yield: Makes 2 loaves.
This hearty raisin bread is especially good toasted -- a real man pleaser. The loaves are very large; depending on your needs, you might prefer to make three smaller loaves, adjusting the temperature and timing as needed.
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- 2 packages (scant tablespoon each) active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1-1/2 cups lukewarm milk (scalded, then cooled)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 cup butter; softened
- 7 to 7-1/2 cups flour
- 2 cups raisins
Dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir in milk, sugar, salt, eggs, shortening, and about 3-1/2 cups of the flour; beat until smooth. Mix in raisins and enough of the remaining flour to make the dough easy to handle. Knead the dough on a floured board until smooth and elastic. Place in a greased bowl and turn to grease the top. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1-1/2 hours.
Punch down and divide the dough in half. Roll each half into a rectangle and roll up to form a loaf. Seal the seam and fold the ends under. Place seam-side down in a greased bread pan and let rise until double.
Heat oven to 400°F. Bake breads on the lowest rack for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden brown. Loaves will sound hollow when tapped. Remove from pans and cool on wire racks. Brush with butter if desired or frost with confectioners' sugar icing.
Confectioners Sugar Icing
- 1 cup confectioners sugar
- 1 to 2 tablespoons milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla