If you’ve been following along with my weekly recipe posts you may have noticed I occasionally share traditional German recipes such as these Spaetzle Noodles or this Zwiebel Kuchen. This week and just in time for Easter, I have another super delicious German recipe for you. Rosinenbrot or Raisin Bread is a traditional style of bread baked for and served on Easter Sunday. Raisins at one point used to be quite expensive and a treat to be enjoyed on special occasions. That makes their inclusion in this Easter bread the perfect treat after lent when families would fast or give up sweets.
Growing up my father always baked bread at home. I can only recall my parents buying bread such as baguettes for family gatherings, special occasions etc. Usually, he would make a Sourdough Multigrain Bread or a Dark Rye bread, so when Easter came along my brothers and I would eagerly await the fresh loaves of soft and fluffy raisin bread. Once in a while, he would also bake a variety of Brötchen (breakfast rolls) for Sunday breakfast but the Rosinenbrot had its special place at the table studded with bursts of sweetness. The recipe I am sharing today is not actually my own. I found this wonderful recipe in the book Classic German Baking by Luisa Weiss from The Wednesday Chef. While the recipe is not mine, it’s too good not to share. The instructions and pictures below are my own. I hope you enjoy this loaf of bread as much as I do, and don’t forget to check out Luisa’s book for more German Baking Recipes!
German Rosinenbrot Recipe
4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
3 tsp active dry yeast (or 2 tsp instant yeast)
1 tsp salt
1 cup milk – slightly warmed
5Tbsp soft butter
1/2 cup raisins
1 egg yolk
1 tsp milk
1/4 cup sliced almonds
Start by pre-heating your oven to 350F and lining a sheet pan with parchment paper.
While warming your milk in a pot on the stove, use a large stainless steel bowl and mix together the flour, sugar, and salt. Make a well in the middle and add the active dry yeast. If using instant yeast simply mix it into the flour and skip the next step.
Pour the warm milk into the well with the active dry yeast and using a fork stir the yeast into the milk until it is dissolved. No need to “bloom” the yeast as you would normally, as long as the yeast is dissolved you are good to go. Add the butter and egg to the liquid mixture and then using a wooden spoon start stirring in the flour from the sides until you have created one tacky ball of dough.
Sprinkle a little flour on the counter, and knead the ball of dough for at least 15 minutes until it is super smooth, very soft and supple. Form a round ball and place it back in the mixing bowl. Cover with a clean dishcloth and let it rise in a warm area of your kitchen, (such as on top of the pre-heated stove) for 1 hour or until double in size.
Once the dough has risen, again loosen it from the bowl and return it to the counter top. You shouldn’t need much more flour to keep it from sticking to the surface. Flatten the dough and sprinkle the raisins on top. Fold the dough over on itself twice, and then start kneading it until the raisins are completely incorporated. If a few “fall” out its ok, either stick them back in or just set them aside.
Cut the dough into 3 equal pieces and roll each piece into rolls 16 inches long and about an inch in diameter. Braid the three strands of dough into one big braid. If you have never braided anything before it is very simple! Start by collecting the ends of all three strands at one end and pressing them together to connect them. Have the loose ends pointing towards you with each roll laying side by side. Then simply start by moving the outside roll over the middle one, and so on and so forth until you have braided the whole loaf. Tuck the ends of the loaf under to hide any loose sections.
Transfer the braided dough to the parchment lined sheet pan and again cover with the dish cloth. Let the loaf rise for another 20 minutes. Once nice and fluffy, brush the loaf with the topping mixture of egg yolk and milk. Sprinkle the sliced almonds on top. You can also sprinkle coarse sugar over the Rosinenbrot if you like. Bake the loaf for 20 to 30 minutes until it is nice and golden brown.
Let the Rosinenbrot cool on a wire rack before slicing. While obviously best served fresh the same day, for most people this is not realistic for breakfast unless you get up at five in the morning to bake. Once cooled store the Rosinenbrot in a brown paper bag or bread box if you have it and serve as soon as possible. If all else fails, use plastic wrap to avoid it from drying out.
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Yields 1 Loaf
A deliciously soft and fluffy Raisin Bread (Rosinenbrot) from Luisa Weiss' "Classic German Baking". The perfect loaf of bread to serve for breakfast on Easter or other special occasions.
1 hr, 45 Prep Time
30 minCook Time
2 hr, 15 Total Time
- You'll need:
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 3 tsp active dry yeast (or 2 tsp instant yeast)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup milk - slightly warmed
- 5Tbsp soft butter
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup raisins
- Topping: (optional)
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tsp milk
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- Pre-heat your oven to 350F and line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
- Warm the milk in a pot on the stove until luke warm.
- In a large stainless steel bowl mix together the flour, sugar, and salt. Make a well in the middle and add the active dry yeast. If using instant yeast simply mix it into the flour and skip the next step.
- Pour the warm milk into the well and dissolve the yeast.
- Add the butter and egg to the liquid mixture and using a wooden spoon stir in the flour from all sides until you have created a ball of dough.
- Sprinkle a little flour on the counter, and knead the ball of dough for at least 15 minutes until it is super smooth,supple. Form a round ball and place it back in the mixing bowl. Cover with a clean dishcloth and let it rise in a warm area of your kitchen for 1 hour or until double in size.
- Flatten the dough on the counter and sprinkle the raisins on top. Fold over the dough and knead in the raisins.
- Cut the dough into 3 equal pieces and roll each piece into rolls 16 inches long. Braid the three strands of dough into one big braid. Tuck the ends of the loaf under to hide any loose sections.
- Transfer the braided dough to the parchment lined sheet pan, cover and let the loaf rise for another 20 minutes.
- Brush the loaf with the topping mixture of egg yolk and milk. Sprinkle the sliced almonds on top.
- Bake the loaf for 20 to 30 minutes until it is nice and golden brown.
- Let the Rosinenbrot cool on a wire rack before slicing.
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