You may vary between the two but these are my Top 2 which I keep coming back to!
Sweet Raisin Greek Bread loaf or Rolls
(Stafidopsoma) – Recipe 1
Makes: 26 small rolls or 2 loaves – OR – Makes one large bread in a Russel Hobbs bread machine and a smaller sized loaf in a Sunbeam Bread machine.
If Using a bread Machine: Add liquid ingredients first – followed by dry flour mixture. Make a well in the center and empty in your yeast.
I glazed my loaves using the glaze recipe below in Recipe Number 2.
If your raisins or sultanas are on the dry side do not
skip this very important stage: Soak them in hot water until plumped up or microwave on 100 % power in a little water to cover 30
1 cup milk
¼ cup melted, unsalted butter or margarine
½ cup sugar
2 Tablespoons grated lemon rind (optional) – I used the zest of about 3 lemons
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
20 g (30 ml) instant yeast – or – 1 oz fresh yeast
250 ml tepid water (100 deg F)
812 g (6.5 cups / 1,624 ml) strong bread flour
250g raisins (500 ml)
1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
Boil the milk and stir in the butter, sugar, peel, salt and
soda. Set aside to cool until lukewarm. Dissolve the yeast in the tepid water which must be no more than body temperature or you will kill the yeast!
Add enough of the flour to make a thick pourable paste. Cover and leave it in a warm place to rise
until doubled in bulk, about 10 minutes. Sift the remaining flour into a large basin and make a well in the
center. Pour in the yeast mixture andthe milk mixture.
Gradually incorporate the flour from the sides of the well
into the liquid and knead the dough thoroughly, until it is
smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Place the dough in a greased bowl and brush the surface with a little butter. Cover the bowl and
let the dough rise in a warm place until double in bulk, 1 ½ – 2 hours depending on temperature and humidity. Punch
down the dough and divide it in half. With a rolling pin, flatten each half on a floured wooden board,
into ½ inch thick rounds. Sprinkle with the raisins and roll
the rounds up tightly. Place into two greased bread pans or divide into 26 equal portions. Form
each portion into a broad cigar shape, rolling the dough
backwards and forwards under your fingers. Place the
rolls well apart on greased or lined baking sheets. Cover with a damp cloth
and let them rise until they are doubled in bulk, about 30
minutes. Brush the rolls with the egg yolk mixture and
sprinkle with sesame seeds (Optional). Bake in a 400 deg F
oven for about 20 minutes or until they are lightly browned. Transfer them to a wire rack to cool before
serving or storing. Wrapped and sealed tightly in plastic
bags. the rolls can keep well for several months in the
Alternate: Use the same dough to make jam filled
Raisin Loaf 2
Makes 3 medium loaves. A moist raisin loaf. Serve
buttered, once cooled and caramel glaze has set on top.
Instant fast acting yeast – I like the NCP brand sold in South Africa which comes in a red package – Use a good brand.
Best working temperature for yeast is between 21C – 29 deg C. Do not be tempted to ferment yeast at a higher
500 g raisins
30 g (3 sachets) Instant yeast
(210 g) 250 ml castor sugar
1 kg (8 cups) [2000 ml] Bread flour
10 ml salt
180g soft butter
4 large eggs
400 ml buttermilk – OR – 25 ml white vinegar or lemon juice plus 375 ml milk
To make buttermilk measure vinegar or lemon juice into jug. Top up with milk. Stir and set aside to allow thickening for few minutes.
Sift all the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl. Add yeast.
Add enough buttermilk to form soft dough. Mix well,
adding a little extra sifted flour if dough is too wet or a
little extra liquid if dough is too dry. Turn it out onto a well floured surface and knead until the dough is smooth & elastic. Cover and leave in a warm place
(no more than 35 deg C, or you will kill yeast) to rise until doubled in size. Soak raisins in hot water until plump or microwave
on 100 % power in a little water to cover for 30 seconds. Drain very well. Lightly knead raisins into the
risen dough. Divide dough into 3. Shape into loaves & place into greased medium sized loaf
pans. Leave covered in a warm place or in greased blown
up plastic bags to rise until doubled in size. This takes quite a while due to the butter & sugar content in dough. Bake in preheated oven at 180 deg C for about 20 minutes. Whilst loaves are baking
prepare sugar syrup glaze…
Sugar Syrup Glaze:
250 ml caramel brown sugar
125 ml water
5 ml glycerin
Dissolve sugar over very low heat in a stainless steel or an
unchipped enamel pot. Do not bring to boil until all sugar
is dissolved. Once dissolved add the glycerin to prevent
sugar from crystallizing. Bring to boil stirring very quickly, reduce to a thick caramel syrup. You will see this if you
take it off the heat for a while, allowing to cool a bit, it will become thicker. Do not allow it to become like toffee or burn. If using a sugar thermometer you must remove from
heat once it reaches “transparent icing” stage.
Brush surface of each loaf immediately once removed from
oven. Leave sugar syrup glaze to set, and then turn out of tins. Allow to cool down before slicing and
Wheat flour already contains 2.5% sugar so that any
mixture of flour and water will readily ferment without
any addition of any extra sugar. What is important is the
concentration of sugar which the yeast is expected to ferment. The optimum is approximately 12.5% and concentrations above this have a retarding effect. This must be remembered when
dough’s are made which are very rich in sugar. The yeast
content must be increased considerably to compensate for