Raisin casserole bread is the perfect snack to go with a cup of hot tea. This bread is a lot less hands on than a traditional raisin bread with a cinnamon swirl.
For the bread pictured, I actually used craisins and added a teaspoon of almond extract to the milk mixture. This bread tastes great the way it is but feel free to experiment by adding orange zest, cinnamon or cardamom or even chopped nuts.
The recipe below calls for the dough to be made into two loaves so this recipe is an ideal hostess gift or holiday gift. I actually baked one large loaf, so it had to stay in the oven a bit longer than if I had split the dough in half. No matter which way you do it, the loaf will not last long!
Raisin Casserole Bread Recipe
1 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup warm water
1 Tbsp yeast 1 egg
4 1/2 cups flour
1 cup raisins
Heat milk just until it starts bubbling around the edges then add the sugar, salt and butter. Let it cool until it is lukewarm.
Measure the warm water into a large mixing bowl and sprinkle the yeast on top and stir until it dissolves. Before you add any more ingredients to your yeast make sure it bubbles or foams a little bit. That's how you know it works and will rise your bread.
Add the milk mixture, egg and 3 cups of the flour to the yeast mixture and beat until smooth. At this point your batter will be very wet, almost like a thick pancake batter. Once everything is combined add the rest of the flour to make a stiff batter. If a spoon doesn't work, you can use your hands to incorporate the last bit of flour.
Cover the dough and let it rise for at least an hour. It should double in size. Once the bread has risen, add the raisins. A spoon was not efficient at adding the raisins for me, so I just used my hand to fold the dough over the raisins until they were all evenly mixed into the dough.
Once all of the raisins are incorporated you can cut the dough in half and pace it in 2 greased 1 quart casserole dishes and bake for 40-45 minutes at 350°F. I like large loaves, so I baked all of the dough in a single loaf pan for 75 minutes. Make sure you let it cool for at least an hour before you slice it. Enjoy!