Raisin Bread


Here in the South, it seems that the tastiest dishes have the greatest stories behind them. In 1734, the Salzburgers of Bavaria, escaping religious persecution, settled about 25 miles outside Savannah, Georgia, at the invitation of General Oglethorpe. Few reminders of their brave presence remain, but this special-occasion bread or kugelhof is a wonderful example of the diversity of our Southern foodways. Making any type of homemade bread requires a genuine labor of love. It's an arduous process making the dough from scratch. Then you must knead and pound it to guarantee that the dough will rise properly. However, once the dough rises, you're pretty much in the clear. Just stick it in the oven and prepare the sugary glaze. Pull it fresh out of the oven and brush it with butter, then drizzle the glaze graciously over the hot loaf. As the aroma fills the house, cut into it and serve it alongside ice cream at dessert or fresh fruit at brunch. This sweet raisin bread recipe is perfect to serve at special occasions, holidays, or even as a dish to welcome your new neighbors.

Raisin Bread
Photo: Southern Living
Hands On Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs 10 mins
2 loaves



  • 3 1/2 to 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

  • 2 (1/4-oz.) envelopes active dry yeast

  • 1/2 cup milk

  • 1/4 cup butter, softened

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 3 cups raisins

  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted


  • 1 cup powdered sugar

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons milk

  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract


  1. Prepare Loaves: Combine 1 1/4 cups flour, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, and 2 envelopes yeast in a large bowl. Heat milk, 1/2 cup water, and 1/4 cup butter in a saucepan to 120º to 130º. Add to flour mixture; beat at medium speed with an electric mixer 2 minutes, scraping bowl often. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add 3/4 cup flour, 1 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1 tsp. vanilla; beat 2 minutes at high speed. Toss together raisins and 1/4 cup flour; stir into dough. Add enough remaining flour to make a soft dough.

  2. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead 5 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Place ina lightly greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in bulk. Punch dough down; let stand 15 minutes.

  3. Divide dough in half; shape each half into an 8-inch loaf. Place in 2 greased 8 1/2- x 4 1/2-inch loaf pans. Cover; let rise in a warm place (85º), free from drafts, 30 minutes or until doubled in bulk.

  4. Preheat oven to 375°. Bake at 375º for 25 minutes or until loaves sound hollow when tapped. Cool in pans 10 minutes; transfer bread to wire racks. Brush loaves with 2 Tbsp. melted butter, and cool completely.

  5. Prepare Glaze: Stir together all ingredients in a small bowl until smooth. Drizzle glaze over tops of loaves.

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