Grandma's Easter Raisin Bread is an old-fashioned bread recipe studded with raisins and best served sliced and slathered in butter.
I never thought that I would have a chance to share this super tasty Easter raisin bread with you! The recipe is from Tom's grandmother and he's been making it around Easter for years, but always told me that I could never blog it. Finally he relented and I jumped at the chance!
What is Grandma's Easter Raisin Bread?
Grandma's Easter Raisin Bread is an old-fashioned bread recipe from my husband's grandmother. Nearly all of the ingredients are added together and warmed up, before yeast is introduced to the mixture, followed by all purpose flour to create a round, raisin-stuffed loaf of bread.
This version of the raisin bread recipe is actually 1/12 of what his grandmother used to make! She had to mix the ingredients in a roasting pan because she didn't have any bowls big enough! But, the entire family was given a loaf of bread for Easter, as well as getting to enjoy it the day of.
- large eggs
- Rapid Rise yeast
- all purpose flour
First, whisk the egg. In a small bowl, whisk the egg, then set aside.
Then combine ingredients. Into a medium saucepan, add the milk, water, beaten egg, sugar, butter, vanilla, salt and raisins. Heat over medium heat, whisking constantly until butter is almost completely melted and the mixture reaches between 120-130 degrees F.
Next, add in the yeast. Remove from the heat and whisk in the yeast, whisking for 1-2 minutes to completely combine. Set aside for 10 minutes to allow yeast to activate. (Mixture will not be very bubbly.)
Then, add in the flour. Pour the liquid mixture into a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on medium speed, adding in all purpose flour 1 cup at a time, mixing until almost fully combined before adding more.
After that, knead the dough by hand. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead, adding more flour if necessary, until it is tacky. Then transfer to a greased bowl, cover with a towel and place in a warm spot to let rise for 5 hours.
Rise the dough a second time. Punch down the dough, then return to the bowl, cover and let rise until doubled again, about 90 minutes.
Then divide the dough in half. Divide dough into two equally sized pieces, approximately one pound balls of dough each. Place onto a parchment lined baking sheet, cover and let rise for 1 more hour.
Next, bake the dough. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together the egg and a splash of vanilla, brushing it over each ball of dough. Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown.
Finally, remove from the oven. Remove bread loaves from the oven and rub butter on top of the cooked bread while it is still hot. Transfer to a baking rack and let cool completely before slicing and serving.
Substititions, Storage and Serving Suggestions
- Cherry flavored Craisins are a great substitition for regular raisins
- Grandma also added yellow food coloring to this recipe (3 drops of gel) but it is not necessary
- Once bread has completely cooled, store in an airtight container on the counter for 4-5 days.
- Cooled and sliced bread can be wrapped in plastic, then foil and placed in a ziplock and frozen for 2-3 months
- Thick slices of bread, lightly toasted and slathered in butter are the preferred way to enjoy this raisin bread, but topping it with jam or jelly works too
Every country seems to have their own version of Easter bread made with raisins. Many are similar to a challah bread and involve braiding the dough before baking. This recipe does not require that extra step.
Soaking raisins makes them plumper and more flavorful but it is not required for this recipe.
Chewy bread, vs. fluffier bread, can come from the type of flour used. It can also be caused by overworking the dough. For this recipe, once the dough is no longer sticky, it is ready for it's first rise.
Honestly, I think Grandma just wanted a break. After two rises, nothing changes in the dough to make for better bread by allowing it to rise a third time. I haven't tried baking this after the second rise, but I believe it would be okay, simply because it barely rises again after the second rise.
More Delicious Easter Recipes:
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Grandma's Easter Raisin Bread
- 1 cup milk
- ⅔ cup water
- 1 large egg
- 3 tablespoon unsalted butter
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅔ cup raisins
- 1 packet Rapid Rise Yeast
- 5 cups all purpose flour plus more for dusting
- 1 large egg
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 tablespoon unsalted butter
- Lightly whisk egg in a small bowl. Set aside.1 large egg
- In a medium saucepan, combine all of the ingredients (including whisked egg) except yeast and flour. Heat over medium heat, whisking to ensure the sugar doesn't burn and the egg doesn't cook, until the mixture reaches a temperature of 120-130 degrees F. (Approximately 5 minutes)1 cup milk, ⅔ cup water, 3 tablespoon unsalted butter, ½ cup sugar, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1 ¼ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon vanilla extract, ⅔ cup raisins
- Remove from the heat and stir in the yeast, stirring for 1-2 minutes, until fully combined. Then let set aside for 10 minutes to allow yeast to bloom. (There will not be many bubbles.)1 packet Rapid Rise Yeast
- Pour the mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer with a dough hook attached. Add in flour, one cup at a time, while mixing on medium speed, until a loose dough is formed.5 cups all purpose flour
- Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead in additional flour if needed until dough is soft and tacky, but not sticky.
- Grease a large bowl and place dough into the bowl. Cover and let rest until doubled in size, up to 5 hours. Then punch dough the dough, cover and let rise another hour.
- Next, line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk together the egg and vanilla. Punch down the dough again, place on the prepared baking sheet and brush liberally with the egg wash. Let rise 1 hour more.½ teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 large egg
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake dough for 35 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through. Remove from the oven and immediately rub a stick of butter all over the dough.4 tablespoon unsalted butter
- Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.
- Grandma's Easter Raisin Bread is best served in thick slices that have been lightly toasted and slathered with butter.
Recipes on Cookaholic Wife are for information purposes only. Nutritional Data provided has not been evaluated by a nutritionist.