Fresh from my Grandmother’s own recipes is a the most delicious english muffin raisin bread. I always get a craving for it on cold winter days. I dont know what it is, but the smell of freshly made bread floating through your home gives such a wonderful comfortble feeling… for me it really is the feeling of home itself.
Im sure I’ve said it before but, my mom is the master of homemade breads and rolls. She has her own recipes, most of which were passed on to her by her mom. I love that kind of history with recipes. It is so fun to know I am baking recipes that my mother and grandmother grew up making. Although I will never be able to bake as well as them, I do like to try. I found with baking any breads or rolls… it really is an art.
You have to get a feel for your dough and know when to stop adding flour and when your dough is done rising. I can tell I am getting better with each batch. When I first starting making rolls and breads I added way to much flour and had dense/thick bread instead of fluffy and soft bread. The trick is to add as little flour as you can get away with without it being too sticky to be able to form your bread/rolls.
So I am going to share my grandmother’s recipe with you, but keep in mind I did modify it. My mom and Grandma can practically make this in their sleep so whenever I am using their recipes I have to sort of fill in the blanks. Also, my mother had seven children and my grandmother had six so all of their recipes have been meant to feed a crowd. Since I very rarely need to make 6 loaves at a time, or 5 trays of cinnamon rolls, I have to trim them down. I know it sounds easy, but if you saw their recipes written down as I do you would know what I mean.
English Muffin Raisin Bread
Makes 2 loafs
3 cups warm water
2.5 Tb dry yeast
1/3 cup cornmeal (whole grain if possible)
3/4 cup sugar
1 Tb salt
2 cups raisins
6 – 8 cups flour
1. Sprinkle the dry yeast across the surface of the warm water in your mixing bowl and let sit for a few months until the yeast is mostly absorbed and a bit frothy around the edges of the bowl.
2. Add the cornmeal, sugar, and salt and mix briefly
3. Add 3 cups of flour and then your raisins and mix using a bread hook
4. Gradually continually adding flour until your dough is soft, but still slightly sticky (not sticky enough that you can’t work with it).
5. Knead dough for 5-6 minutes using your bread hook (Yes grandma, I cheat and no longer Knead by hand… hope you still love me) 🙂
6. Put about a capfull of vegetable over the soft surface of the dough making sure to coat the bottom of the dough as well. Let rise until double (about 30 minutes).
7. Punch down, divide dough in half and form dough into two loaves. Coat pans with non-stick spray before putting dough in.
8. Let rise again until double (about 30 minutes)
9. Bake on 350 degrees for 25 – 30 minutes. I put tinfoil over mine the last 10 minutes so the tops do not brown too much. Remove from pans immediately and let cool completely on wire rack before wrapping up. Brush to tops with melted butter for better presentation.
This is bread is absolutely delectable with honey butter or even cinnamon and sugar toast! The key to honey butter is equal parts butter to honey. 🙂 Enjoy! I know you will be making this one for years… it is a keeper.
About Jamie Hinckley
I am a mom of three crazy boys! We love life, play hard, and ALWAYS get messy! Life is busy and full of fun, jumping, crashing, skinned knees, rough housing, torn jeans, scratches, but most of all LOVE. Yes, life is crazy. Actually its completely nuts, but I wouldn't change a thing! We love life and can't wait for our next adventure... and one day, possibly a little girl! Haha!