Start your day on a sweet note with this delightful homemade Raisin Bread!
Enjoy its light and fluffy texture, made using yeast dough and packed full of tasty raisins.
Bake it up today for an easy treat sure to bring some cheer into the kitchen!
This bread recipe is inspired by another classic German bread recipe: Rosinenbread. This sweet bread is popular all year long. You'll also often find it in German bakeries as raisin buns (Rosinenbrötchen). And they happen to be a childhood favorite of mine.
It's similar to a Cinnamon Raisin Bread recipe but less sweet. And often served with (salted) butter and/or jams, jellies, or honey.
Why This Recipe Works
EASY - This is a pretty simple yeast dough that is great for anyone who wants to get started with yeast doughs.
VERSATILE - You can even omit the raisins and serve this bread as sweet bread. Perfect for breakfast. Instead of raisins, you can also use chocolate chips, dried cranberries, cherries, or even dried apricot slices.
QUICK - While the rising takes a little bit of time, the actual active prep time takes less than 15 minutes.
INGREDIENTS - All of the ingredients are fridge and pantry staples. No need to hunt for speciality items. You can even skip the raisins and enjoy this recipe as a simple sweet bread.
Please check the recipe card below for a detailed, printable ingredient list.
YEAST - In Germany, we tend to use more fresh yeast. In the US, I have found that fresh yeast is often hard to find and very expensive. So, for all of my recipes, I use dry yeast.
You can also use instant yeast, but I have a slight preference for active dry yeast. If you want to use fresh yeast, use one cube.
MILK - 2% milk or whole milk both work.
SUGAR - For this recipe, use granulated sugar.
FLOUR - All-purpose flour is ideal for this recipe. I have never used bread flour or whole wheat flour.
EGG - The egg helps the dough rise and lightens the texture. Remove the egg from the fridge and allow it to rise to room temperature.
I like to use a second egg. Whisking the egg yolk with a tablespoon or two of water. And then, brush the top of the bread with the egg wash. This creates a beautiful shiny crust. You can achieve a similar result by brushing the dough with milk, but you don't get the same rich, beautiful sheen.
BUTTER - Use unsalted, softened butter.
RAISIN - Make sure to wash and dry the raisins before adding them to the dough.
SALT - Boosts the flavor and helps to strengthen the dough.
How To Make
- YEAST - Warm milk to about 110-120º Fahrenheit, add 1 tablespoon of sugar, and dry yeast. Stir until well combined. Cover with a kitchen towel and place in a warm spot. Allow to rise for 15 minutes.
- DOUGH - Add flour, sugar, salt, and one egg to a bowl. Pour the yeast mixture into the bowl. Beat the dough at low speed. Gradually add diced, softened butter. Continue to beat until the dough is elastic and smooth. Cover with a dish towel and rest for 45-60 minutes.
- DOUGH - Transfer the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Fold the raisins into the dough and shape it into a loaf. Transfer into a loaf pan. Brush the top with an egg wash.
- BAKE - Place the loaf pan in the oven and bake for 35 minutes at 350º Fahrenheit. Remove the loaf from the pan and place it onto a wire rack. Allow to cool before slicing.
Ice Cream Bread
Recipe Success Tips
STAND MIXER - If you own a stand mixer, I highly recommend using it for this recipe.
PROOFING FUNCTION - If your oven has a PROOF function, I highly recommend using it. The dough will gently rise, the temperature is steady, and you'll get beautifully risen dough. If you are using this method, don't use plastic wrap to cover the bowl.
DOUGH CONSISTENCY - Once well combined, the soft dough can still be lightly sticky before rising but should be nice and smooth after it has risen and doubled in size.
LOAF PAN - You can grease the loaf pan with butter or use parchment paper.
BAKING - We all know that ovens can behave quite differently. If you feel the bread is browning too quickly, you can always cover it with aluminum foil.
THERMOMETER - Use to make sure the milk is at the right temperature (110-120º Fahrenheit. You can do it without a thermometer and use your hand to make sure that the milk is lukewarm. But using a thermometer is easier.
LOAF PAN -
STORE - Freshly baked Raisin Bread tastes best on day one. It's still delicious on day two. If you want to keep it for up 3-4 days, you will need to wrap it in a zip-lock bag. It won't be as fresh, but you can always toast a couple of slices.
FREEZE - This bread freezes beautifully. You can freeze the entire loaf. But I recommend slicing the bread before storing it in the freezer. This way, you can easily defrost individual portions. If you choose to freeze the bread, it's best to do it straight away (after it has completely cooled).
More Sweet Treats You Might Enjoy
BUTTERKUCHEN - German Butter Cake. This is another German yeast dough recipe that results in a decadently rich cake.
CHERRY CRUMB CAKE - A scrumptious crumb cake with fresh cherries.
BLUEBERRY DUMP CAKE - If you are looking for a quick and easy recipe the entire family will love, this recipe is for you. Just 3 simple ingredients.
Did you try our recipe?
Please take a moment to rate the recipe below!
- 1¼ cup milk 2% or whole milk, warmed to 100-110º Fahrenheit
- ⅓ cup sugar use 1 tablespoon for the yeast mixture and the remaining sugar for the dough
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 4 cups flour
- 1 large egg
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons butter unsalted, softened, cut into small cubes
- ½ cup raisins washed and dried
- 1 egg yolk Optional. Used to make an optional egg wash. See recipe notes below for more details.
- Preheat the oven to 350º Fahrenheit. Either grease with a loaf pan with butter or cover it with parchment paper.
- Warm milk (110-120º Fahrenheit). Add yeast and 1 tablespoon of sugar into a tall glass and add the warm milk. Whisk until well combined. Cover the glass with a dish towel and set it aside until the mixture has a frothy top. About 15 minutes.
- Add flour, egg, sugar, and salt to a large bowl. Slowly pour the yeast mixture into the dough. Gradually add the softened butter to the dough.
- Cover the bowl with a dish dowl and store it in a warm place (or place it in your oven and choose the PROOF setting). Rest until the dough has at least doubled in size. About 45-60 minutes.
- Transfer the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Fold the raisins into the dough and shape it into a loaf. Transfer into a loaf pan.
Egg Wash (optional)
- Whisk egg yolk and 1-2 teaspoons of water. Brush the top of the loaf with the egg wash. And place the loaf pan into the oven.
- Bake for 35 minutes at 350º Fahrenheit. Remove the pan from the loaf
Egg Yolk + water (1-2 teaspoons): Adds a rich golden brown crust with a gorgeous shine.
Egg White: Adds a light shine without the deep rich coloring.
Milk only (milk wash): Adds a matt sheen and crispy crust.
Plain (no wash): You'll have a crisp crust with a matt finish. STAND MIXER - This is a great recipe for a stand mixer. But if you don't have one, use a hand mixer. Either way, make sure you are using a dough hook attachment. LOAF PAN - You can grease the loaf pan or cut parchment paper to size.