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Sweet Raisin Bread

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  • Prep 15 hr 15 min
  • Total 15 hr 45 min
  • Servings 1
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A delicious braided brioche loaf filled with raisins and butter.
by: Girl vs Dough
Updated Nov 11, 2014
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  • 1/3 cup lukewarm milk
  • 1/2 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1/3 tablespoon salt
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • 1/8 cup honey
  • 1 stick butter, divided into quarters
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins
  • 1 egg wash egg beaten with 1 tbsp water


  • 1
    Mix the yeast, salt, eggs, honey and 3/4 of the stick of butter (melted first) with the milk in the bowl of a stand mixer fixed with the paddle attachment.
  • 2
    Mix in the flour, without kneading, into the stand mixer bowl. When ingredients are just incorporated, switch paddle attachment with dough hook, and mix until dough is loose but mostly sticking together. There will be lumps in the dough -- don't worry, these will go away in the finished product.
  • 3
    Pour dough into a large greased bowl, cover and let rise until doubled, about 2 hours. After the first rise, place bowl, covered, in refrigerator overnight to chill.
  • 4
    In the morning, place the dough on a lightly floured counter top and roll out into a 10 x 15-inch rectangle. Transfer dough to a piece of parchment paper. Cut a small, 1 x 1-inch square of dough from each corner, using a pizza cutter or bench scraper. Then, into each of the long sides, cut about 8 1/2-inch wide strips.
  • 5
    In the center of the dough, brush on the remaining melted butter and sprinkle on the raisins evenly. Fold in top and bottom flaps of dough, and then fold each strip, left over right, crisscrossing over the filling, creating a braid. Allow to rest for 40 minutes to 1 hour, until slightly puffy.
  • 6
    Preheat oven to 350°F. Brush the braid with egg wash, and place on a baking sheet. Bake the braid for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool slightly before serving.

Nutrition Information

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More About This Recipe

  • This bread recipe was supposed to go very differently than it did.

    Milchbrot, or "milk bread," in the rough German-to-English translation, is something my great-grandmother used to make all the time for special occasions. She had her own homemade recipe memorized like the back of her hand, and within a day of mixing together the milk, yeast sponge, flour and sometimes raisins; braiding them all together and twisting the braid into a turban shape; brushing it with egg wash and baking until golden brown, she had a delectable, pull-apart loaf that was sweet, dense, cakey and elastic.

    My great-grandmother always kept her kitchen filled with cookies, pot roasts, cakes, soups and breads made from handed-down recipes from past generations. She didn't write the recipes down, she knew them so well. They were ingrained in her. I truly wish I had the wealth of knowledge as she did about making delicious food, but alas, unless I have a cookbook or printed recipe in front of me, there's no way I could go from raw beef to pot roast without something going terribly awry.

    With bread, however, it's a different scenario. I suppose, after all this practice, I've been getting better at concocting my own recipes (though I still have to write them down for my own future reference). But this time, I wanted to use a recipe passed down in my family, the one for milchbrot. Unfortunately, it's never been written down, and no one really knows how my great-grandmother made it as precisely as she did.

    So I made my own version and named it Sweet Raisin Bread. A light brioche-like loaf, mixed with milk instead of water, and braided with a filling of butter and raisins, I've made my own adapted recipe of my great-grandmother's bread. It doesn't have that pull-apart elasticity that made hers so delicious, but it does maintain that hint of sweetness and egg-washed golden brown top. My version is also a little more buttery than hers. But I suppose that's how recipes go -- they change from generation to generation. Who knows? Maybe my great-grandmother's milchbrot was different from her own mother's or grandmother's recipe. At least we all love to bake -- and that's a trait I'm glad to have.

    Stephanie (aka Girl versus Dough) has joined Tablespoon to share her adventures in the kitchen. Check out Stephanie's Tablespoon member profile and keep checking back for her own personal recipes on Tablespoon!
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