Friday, March 17, 2017

Raisin Bread

Raisin Bread


Some of my sisters are coming to visit, and I am beyond excited.  We are scattered across the country, so seldom get to see each other.  I want to make them feel at home, and what better way than to make one of our mom’s best recipes – Raisin Bread.  Mmmm, so good.  Just the thought of it makes my mouth water.  It was the favorite of more than one of the siblings, and there were several of us.
 To start, you’ll need 2 cups of fresh raisins. I recommend Sunmaid because, not only do they taste great, but they’re from California’s central valley, so I have more than a little partiality toward them. 

 Anyway, you’ll want to boil them along with 2 cups sugar and 2 cups of water.  Let them boil together for ten minutes. 
Next, you’ll add 3 TBS of butter and stir just until it melts.  Remove the concoction from the heat and let it cool.  Actually, it says to let it cool, but really what you want to do is let it sit for several hours.  You want those raisins to try to recapture their youth by plumping up like fat little grapes.  I let them sit overnight.  You don't have to do this, but it really adds to the flavor.

 Once you’re ready to bake the bread, preheat the oven to 3500 F.  While it’s heating, dissolve 1 ½ tsp. baking soda into 2 TBS boiling water, and add it to the lovely, plump raisins. 

In a small bowl, beat three eggs and set aside.  In a large bowl, sift together 3 ½ C gluten-free flour, ½ tsp salt and 1 ½ tsp xanthan gum.

 Now, mix the beaten eggs into the flour, add the raisins and 1 TBS vanilla extract, that’s right, a full tablespoon.  It makes the bread so much richer.

Pour the batter into a greased tube pan or two greased loaf pans.  I recommend the tube pan, mainly because that’s what my mom used, and it always came out perfectly. I have my mom’s old tube pan, and wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Pop it into the preheated oven and bake about 60 to 75 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  I’ve found that gluten-free generally takes a bit longer to cook.  Check it after 60 minutes and if it’s not done, check it again at 75.
It’s deliciously moist and is great on its own or with a bit of butter spread on top.  This recipe also makes beautiful muffins.

Thanks, Mom, for the best recipe ever.  We’ll enjoy it in your honor.
Raisin Bread
2 C Raisins
2 C Sugar
2 C Water
3 TBS Butter
1 ½ tsp Baking Soda
2 TBS Hot Water
3 ½ C Gluten-Free Flour
1 ½ tsp Xanthan Gum
½ tsp Salt
3 Eggs, beaten
1 TBS Vanilla Extract

1.   Combine the raisins, sugar and water in a saucepan
2.   Bring to a boil, and let boil for 10 minutes
3.   Add the butter and stir until dissolved
4.   Remove from heat and let cool completely
5.   Preheat oven to 3500 F
6.   Dissolve the baking soda in 2 the boiling water and add it to the raisin mixture
7.   In a large bowl, sift together the flour, salt and xanthan gum
8.   Add the beaten egg
9.   Add the raisin mix and vanilla, and mix well
10.   Pour into a well-greased tube pan, or two well-greased loaf pans
11.  Bake at 3500 F for 60 to 75 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean
12.  Remove from oven
13. After five minutes, remove from loaf pans to wire rack and let cool completely

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