Monday, December 5, 2011

Sophie's Sweet Bread (with Raisins)

This is a bread my grandmother used to make and give to her loved ones around Christmas time.  It was a labor of love for her, in which she started early in the morning and finished late at night.  This bread is very light in the center and is fabulous right out of the oven or toasted with some butter is my favorite way to eat it.  It did not take me all day to make.  It actually only took me 6 hours, and would've taken less, but it wasn't rising because my house was too cold.  I put it near the oven and it started to rise wonderfully.  I love this bread with the raisins, but they can be omitted easily.  She made 6-7 loaves, and I made the recipe for 2 loaves and adapted the directions a bit to be more user friendly.
My Aunt Mary got me this recipe and I am grateful to be able to make it!  A great recipe from Grandma... we miss you Bessie!

from my Grandmother, Thanks Aunt Mary!

  • 1 cup warm water 
  • 1 packet of yeast (2 1/2 tsp)
  • 1/2 TBSP salt
  • 1/4 cup+ 1 TBSP sugar
  • 1/4 cup+1 TBSP canola oil
  • 1/3 cup + 1 TBSP evaporated milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 5-6 cups flour

In a glass measuring cup, place water with 1 TBSP sugar and yeast.  Let sit without mixing for 10 minutes.  If it doesn't foam, get new yeast.  Meanwhile, in a stand mixer with paddle attachment, mix remaining sugar, salt, oil, eggs, egg yolks, and evaporated milk.  Add yeast/water mix and 2 cups of flour.  Mix for a minute on med. high until smooth, scraping dough down the sides.  Add a cup of flour at a time until dough begins to pull away from the sides.   Dough will still be a bit tacky/sticky.  Change to kneading attachment and knead for 5 minutes, adding raisins for last minute if using them. 
Turn down onto floured surface and knead lightly a few more times working a bit more flour in if needed to prevent from sticking.  Grease a bowl and place down in it.  Cover with a towel and put in a warm place to rise until doubled in size (mine took like 3 hours because my house was cool).  Punch down dough and grease 2 bread pans.  Divide dough in half and place dough in each pan and  cover with a towel.  Let rise until rising up over the top in a nice dome shape. 
Bake @ 350 for 40-50 minutes, until golden brown on top.  Remove from oven and rub butter over the tops.  Turn out onto a rack or cutting board to cool and serve warm or toasted with butter.

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