This is my Easter Bread. Use moist raisins. If your raisins are dry, soak them in boiling water for 5-10 minutes, then drain and blot. Have all your ingredients at room temperature and ALWAYS AERATE YOUR FLOUR BEFORE MEASURING. - Jenny Jones
- 2 cups bread flour (all purpose flour works too)
- 1 packet (2 tsp/7 gm) yeast - instant or active dry
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup milk (reduced fat or whole milk) heated to 120-130° F for instant yeast (or 110-120°F for active dry)
- 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil (I use avocado oil)
- 1 egg
- 1 cup moist golden raisins (I use Sun-Maid)
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup additional flour
- 2 Tablespoons softened butter or transfat-free margarine
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
- Egg wash: 1 egg yolk + 1 teaspoon water
- Glaze: 1 cup powdered sugar + about 2 Tablespoons milk
- Combine flour, yeast, sugar & salt in a mixing bowl.
- Add warm milk followed by oil and egg.
- Beat with electric mixer on medium-high for 2 minutes.
- Stir in raisins and enough flour to form a mass.
- Transfer to a floured surface and knead 100 turns (2 minutes).
- Cover dough and let it rest for 10 minutes.
- Meantime, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and combine brown sugar & cinnamon in a bowl.
- Roll dough into 9 x 12-inch rectangle. Cut into three 3 x 12-inch strips.
- Spread butter down the center of each strip. Top the butter with narrow rows of the brown sugar mix, keeping away from the edges.
- Pinch the strips closed, moistening the long edges if needed to stick. Go over sealed edges with floured hands to make three sealed ropes with filling inside.
- Form into a braid, tucking in edges. Place on baking sheet. Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm spot for 1 to 1 1/2 hours 'til double in size.
- Brush loaf with egg wash. Bake in preheated oven at 375° F for 25 minutes. If needed, cover with a foil tent the last 10 minutes to prevent over-browning.
- Let rest 10 minutes and top with glaze.