To start this story, we have to go way back to yesterday morning when I was craving raisin bread for breakfast. Sadly we were out of bread, and my mom wasn’t planning on going shopping any time soon. I have a favorite go to bread recipe that I always use, but it currently resides in a baking binder back in my college apartment. The genius that I am, I never saved the source from which I found the recipe. So I was left in this very sad state of being. No bread, no recipe, and a very bored Andria.
my not so glorious baker’s notes from long ago
That is, until I opened the notebook I’m currently using to take baking notes in for the wedding cake testing process. Lo and behold I find that I’ve copied down a couple of my favorite recipes in the front pages…including that wonderful honey milk bread recipe from long ago. Jackpot! And thus that is what brings us to our current state of a happy Andria with a freshly baked loaf of raisin bread.
Yes, this recipe does require a bread machine. Although I’m sure you could do it by hand, you’d just have to tweak it a bit…I’ll put a no bread machine recipe below (or maybe sometime in the future when I get to figuring out one…far future). Be warned, it doesn’t work out all that well every time I do it by hand. Mostly because my arms get tired before I’ve done enough kneading for the dough. If you do have a bread machine, I highly recommend making this in the morning and save yourself the need to buy bread.
A little background on this wonderful hunk of metal I like to call my bread machine. This contraption has been around since I was born…which makes that about 2 decades old. Amazing right? If that doesn’t convince you of how worthwhile some kitchen appliance investments are I don’t know what will. I know, it baffles me how it’s still alive and well…even more functional that myself in some ways (that was a joke…kind of). Anyways, this lovely bread machine was used by my grandparents to make bread in the morning when they came from China to help take care of me and my brother after I was born. Apparently it has a timer function that you can set for when you want it to start baking. My grandpa (or maybe it was my mom…my conscious memories don’t go that far back) would put the ingredients in the night before, and set the timer for 6am and voila fresh bread for the morning. The bread machine’s really loud, so my mom put it in the basement (yeah we had a basement back then…those exist…I miss our basement). And yeah, that’s about it to the story (I couldn’t think of a smooth transition).
Enjoy the recipe!
Raisin Honey Milk Bread [Bread Machine]
- 1 cup + 1 tbsp milk
- 3 tbsp honey
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter
- 3 cups bread flour
- 2 tsp yeast
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 - 3/4 cups raisins (soaked in warm water for ten minute then drained) this part is based on your own personal preference
In a microwave safe bowl add in the milk, honey, and butter. Microwave for a minute until warmed (butter doesn't have to completely melt...this is just to warm up the ingredients so they activate the yeast). Stir to combine the honey that sinks to the bottom, then pour the mixture into the bread machine pan.
Add in the flour (make sure the flour covers the surface of the wet ingredients so the yeast doesn't get wet before the machine starts mixing), yeast, and salt.
Make sure the yeast and salt are separate and not touching or the salt will kill the yeast before it can work and do it's magic.
Place in your bread machine and set the instructions to basic loaf (2lb + medium crust). Start the process and wait for bread 🙂
For my bread machine, there's a timer that beeps after the second rise to indicate when to add in the raisins. If your bread machine doesn't have that, manually wait for the second rise (double check your bread machine manual to see how many cycles the basic bread setting has) and add in the raisins right before the last mixing!