If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you might have noticed that I’ve posted quite a few of my Aunt Pat’s recipes over the years (Lasagna, Lemon Squares, 7-Minute Frosting). All of her recipes are fantastic, and this molasses raisin bread is one of my favourites! Aunt Pat always makes it around Christmas time, but it’s so delicious that it can easily be enjoyed all year round. I’m posting the recipe for just one loaf – which is what I usually make since we’re just two people in a small Paris apartment with no storage! – but you can easily double, triple, or even quadruple this recipe to get more loaves.
makes one loaf
3.5 g dry yeast (½ a standard packet)
65 mL lukewarm water
½ teaspoon sugar
250 mL lukewarm water
75 g molasses
1 teaspoon salt
15 g unsalted butter, melted
500 g flour (T65 in France)
175 g raisins
In a small container, stir together the yeast, 65 mL of water, and the sugar. Set aside for 10 minutes, until foamy.
In a larger container, stir together the 250 mL water, molasses, salt, and melted butter.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, stir together half the flour (250 g) and the raisins. Make a well in the center, and pour in the yeast mixture and the molasses mixture. Mix with the paddle attachment on low speed until combined. Add the remaining (250 g) flour, switch to the dough hook, and mix on low speed for 5 minutes, followed by medium-low speed for a few minutes more.
Scrape the dough out into a greased bowl, cover with a kitchen towel, and place it somewhere a little warm to rise (the oven with the light on works well), until it has doubled in size – about an hour.
Dump the dough out onto a floured surface and punch it down. Form into a ball, place it back into the greased bowl, and rise again until doubled – again about an hour.
After the second rising, dump the dough out onto a floured surface, punch it down, and form it into three buns of equal size. Place the buns into a greased loaf pan, and allow the loaf to rise until doubled in size – about an hour and a half.
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F), and bake until done – about 30 minutes. Place on a rack to cool, and brush the top of the loaf with salted butter while still warm.