Mother's Raisin Bread

  • Active Time 15m
  • Total Time 1h 15m

Makes one 1 1/2-pound loaf

Mother's Raisin Bread is adapted from James Beard. His mother made the bread after she tasted it at the old Palace Hotel in San Francisco, which was a popular haunt for young couples in the 1920s. It was known for its afternoon tea dances, during which tea and sherry were served accompanied by platters of raisin bread slathered with butter. Since this loaf is mixed and baked in a bread machine, you will need to use some vital wheat gluten to help the loaf maintain its shape. This recipe is not suitable for the Delay cycle setting on your bread machine.


  • 1 1/3 cups raisins
  • 1/3 cup cream sherry
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • Pinch of ground mace

  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 3 teaspoons vital wheat gluten (see Note)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast or 2 teaspoons SAF instant yeast


Combine raisins, sherry, zest and mace in small bowl. Cover and let macerate overnight at room temperature. Strain any unabsorbed liquid into 2-cup glass measuring cup. Substitute soaking liquid for an equal amount of milk in dough. Set raisins aside.

Place all remaining ingredients, except reserved raisins, in bread machine in order listed. Program machine for Sweet Bread Cycle using Light Crust Setting if available; press Start. Add reserved raisins halfway through cycle (for most machines, a beep will sound at halfway point).

Transfer finished bread to wire rack. Cool to room temperature. Slice bread and serve.

NOTE: Vital wheat gluten is available in most supermarkets. Or you can substitute an equal amount of Lora Brody's Bread Dough Enhancer.

DO-AHEAD TIP: Loaf can be frozen whole, or pre-sliced. Reheat whole loaf in a preheated 300 degrees F oven for 10 minutes. Or toast frozen slices in toaster.

Recipe created exclusively for by Beth Hensperger, author of The Bread Lover's Bread Machine Cookbook and The Bread Bible.

Serving size = 1/16 loaf

Recipe reprinted by permission of Publisher. All rights reserved.

RecID 4743

nutrition information per serving

169 calories; 3g total fat; 6mg cholesterol; 230mg sodium; 32g carbohydrates; 1g fiber; 4g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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