← Back to Search Results
baking American
Mother’s Raisin Bread Recipe-2845

Photo by: Joey DeLeo
Comments: 0


This was a raisin bread that my mother made very often, modeled on one she had admired at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco. During World War I she used to do benefit teas for the British Red Cross, and there were always requests for this bread, thinly sliced and spread with good sweet butter. It was arranged on large platters, and there was never any of it left.

Yield: 2 loaves


  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 2 cups lukewarm milk
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 5 to 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • Melted butter
  • ½ cups sultana raisins, plumped overnight in sherry or Cognac to barely cover
  • ½ teaspoon ground mace
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh orange rind
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten with 2 tablespoons cream


Dissolve the yeast in ¼ cup of the warm milk and proof it. Combine the rest of the warm milk, sugar, salt, and 3 tablespoons butter in a large bowl. Add the yeast mixture, then, using one hand or a heavy wooden spoon, gradually stir in enough flour to make a stiff dough. Turn out on a floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes, until smooth, elastic, and glossy. Place in a buttered bowl and turn to coat the surface with butter. Cover and set in a warm, draft-free spot to rise until doubled in bulk, about 2½ hours.

Punch the dough down and knead for 3 minutes. Return to the bowl and let rise again for 30 minutes. Divide the dough into two equal pieces and roll each out into a rectangle about 7× 20 inches. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with the raisin mixture. Roll the dough up tightly; tuck the ends under. Fit each roll, seam side down, in two well-buttered 8×4×2-inch loaf pans. Cover and let rise in a warm spot till the dough shows just above the top of the pans. Brush with the egg yolk-and-cream wash and bake in a preheated 400° oven for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350° and continue baking for 20 to 30 minutes or until the loaves sound hollow when tapped on top and bottom. If necessary, return the loaves to the oven rack without their pans to brown the bottom crusts.

© 1973 James A. Beard

Note from Cookstr's Editors

Nutritional information is based on 16 servings. Nutritional information does not include sherry or cognac for plumping sultana raisins, and melted butter for brushing loaves.


Nutritional Information

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

215kcal (11%)
331mg (14%)
4g (6%)
2g (11%)
22mg (7%)
36mcg RAE (1%)
0mg (1%)
45mg (5%)
2mg (11%)

Would you like to leave a comment about this recipe?

Notify me of new comments on this recipe. Add comment

We'd love to hear what you think!

Please or to add a comment to this recipe.

Sign up for
The Cookstr Weekly

Free handpicked cookbook recipes delivered straight to your inbox

Explore Cookbooks on Cookstr

the-gourmet-cookbook The Gourmet Cookbook
by Ruth Reichl
the-south-american-table-the-flavor-and-soul-of-authentic-home-cooking-from-patagonia-to-rio-de-janeiro-with-450-recipes The South American Table: T...
by Maria Baez Kijac
the-sweet-life The Sweet Life
by Kate Zuckerman
rosas-new-mexican-table-friendly-recipes-for-festive-meals Rosa's New Mexican Table: F...
by Roberto Santibanez
everyday-chinese-cooking Everyday Chinese Cooking
by Katie Chin, Leeann Chin
ice-creams-and-sorbets-cool-recipes Ice Creams and Sorbets: Coo...
by Lou Seibert Pappas
once-upon-a-tart-soups-salads-muffins-and-more-from-new-york-citys-favorite-bakeshop-and-cafe Once Upon a Tart: Soups, Sa...
by Frank Mentesana, Jerome Audureau
down-home-with-the-neelys-a-southern-family-cookbook Down Home with the Neelys: ...
by Gina Neely, Pat Neely
bistro-cooking-at-home-more-than-150-classic-and-contemporary-dishes Bistro Cooking at Home: Mor...
by Gordon Hamersley
nigella-express Nigella Express
by Nigella Lawson

Thanks for signing up!

You'll receive an activation email in your inbox shortly. Don't forget to click that link and activate your new Cookstr.com account!

Already a member? Sign in here

Sign up for Cookstr!

  • Receive a free, handpicked selection of recipes in your inbox weekly
  • Save, share and comment on your favorite recipes in My Cookstr
  • Get updates on new cookbooks, Cookstr features, and other exclusives we know you'll love
By signing up you accept the
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy
New to Cookstr? Sign up here
Thanks for commenting!
Would you like to share your comment on Facebook or Twitter?