Shannon’s Great Raisin Bread

My youngest daughter makes a wonderful raisin bread in her bread machine.  It’s moist, sweet, slightly spicy – really good.  I don’t own a bread machine, so this is my version that is made with fast rising yeast and an electric mixer.  This is so good fresh and warm from the oven, and a real treat when toasted and buttered.   We also like it in thin slices in a sandwich made with Shannon’s Curry Chicken Salad.

For Shannon’s bread machine recipe, click here.


  • Servings: One 9-inch loaf
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  • 2 to 3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 cup quick oatmeal
  • 2 Tblsp. light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 pkg or 2 tsp. Fleischmann’s Rapid Rise yeast (Quick-Rise in Canada)
  • 7 oz. water, heated to 130 degrees F
  • 2 Tblsp. honey
  • 1-1/2 Tblsp. butter, melted
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 tsp. butter for top of loaf after baking

Greased 9-inch loaf pan

In the large bowl of an electric mixer, place 1 cup flour, salt, oatmeal, brown sugar, cinnamon, and yeast.  Beat to blend dry ingredients.

Add 130 degree F water, honey, and melted butter.

With paddle beater, mix on medium speed for 3 minutes.

Remove paddle beater and insert dough hook.  Continue to beat for 6-1/2 minutes, adding flour a little at a time.   You may not have to use all of the flour – the dough should be smooth and elastic after 6-1/2 minutes.

Remove bowl from mixer and working in the bowl, add raisins ¼ cup at a time and knead to mix the raisins into the dough.

Place dough in an oiled bowl, turn dough once and cover with a napkin or tea towel.  Let rise for 45 minutes in a warm place that is free of drafts (I put mine on top of my microwave which sets under a cabinet).

After 45 minutes, punch down dough (press your knuckles into the dough to deflate it) and lay it on a lightly floured surface.  Roll the dough and form into a loaf.  Turn over and pinch the edges to seal – I also pushed in any raisins on the bottom of the dough to keep them from sticking to the pan.  Place loaf in greased 9×9 inch loaf pan.  Cover and let rise for another 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Bake loaf for approximately 40 to 45 minutes until bread is golden brown and has a hollow sound when tapped.  Cover with a piece of foil if top is browning too fast.  Remove bread from pan immediately, brush with butter, cover with a napkin or a tea towel and let cool on a wire rack.

Yield:  One 9-inch loaf

Best Light Bread

stovecardMany of my childhood Thanksgivings were spent in my Grandma’s kitchen where she cooked a big family dinner on a woodburning stove.  I cook for my grandchildren now, gratefully using all the latest conveniences.  My favorite yeast rolls for Thanksgiving are made from a recipe adapted from one that appeared in Better Homes & Gardens Country Cooking magazine (1982-83).  The original recipe called for the more conventional method of proofing, mixing, and rising, but I converted it to a quicker way with fast acting yeast.

I won blue ribbons at the Hamilton County Fair (Cincinnati) and the Ohio State Fair using this recipe in the 1980s.



  • Servings: One to two dozen rolls, depending on size
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  • 6 to 7 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 2 pkgs. fast-acting dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup hot milk (130 degrees F)
  • 1 cup hot water (130 degrees F)
  • 1/2 cup margarine, melted
  • 2 beaten eggs, room temperature

Place 2 cups of flour, yeast, sugar and salt in the large bowl of an electric mixer.  Add the hot milk, hot water and melted margarine and beat for 3 minutes at medium speed, using the paddle beater.  Mix in the eggs.  Insert dough hook and continue to knead dough for another 6-1/2 minutes, adding flour as needed.

Cover and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.  Punch down and form into rolls.  Place on greased baking sheets, cover and let rise for 30 minutes.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Bake rolls for 12-15 minutes until golden brown.  Let cool on wire racks. 


For Thanksgiving, I like to make the rolls large – the better for making turkey sandwiches.


Honey Whole Wheat Bread and Rolls

Every Wednesday, granddaughter Dolphin comes to my house and most of the time we make bread.  This week we made an old favorite going back over more than 20 years – Honey Whole Wheat Bread.


  • Servings: One 9-inch loaf or one 7-1/2-inch loaf plus 12 rolls
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  • 2 packages fast rising dry yeast
  • 2 cups of whole wheat flour (Gold Medal)
  • 1/2 cup instant potato flakes
  • 1/2 cup non-fat dry milk
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups of water heated to 130 degrees F
  • 3 Tblsp. oil
  • 3 Tblsp. honey
  • 3-4 cups all-purpose flour (Gold Medal)

In the large bowl of an electric mixer, place yeast, whole wheat flour, instant potato flakes, dry milk and salt.  Stir to blend.  Add heated water, oil and honey.  With paddle beater, beat at medium speed for 3 minutes.  Insert dough hook and continue beating for another 6:30 minutes, adding all-purpose flour as required to make dough springy and not sticky.

Place dough in an oiled bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.  Punch down, form into loaves and/or rolls, place formed dough on oiled pans, cover and let rise for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Bake loaves, according to size, for 25 to 45 minutes until golden brown on top and loaves sound hollow when tapped.  Bake rolls for 12-15 minutes, according to size.  I like to bake one loaf of bread in a medium size 7-1/2″ pan for 25 minutes and form 12 rolls from the remaining dough to bake on a large cookie sheet for 12 minutes.

Dolphin and I enjoy a roll fresh from the oven with butter and a drizzle of honey.

Back when I first started making Honey Whole Wheat Bread, my aunt and then later my mother were fighting cancer and nothing tasted good to them but this bread.  I made each one a loaf every week until even this fresh bread didn’t taste good to them any more.   My aunt passed away in 1989 and my mother in 1991.  I know they would be happy to think that Dolphin is enjoying the bread now.