Sweet sweet Friday: Raisin Toast

One of my favourite things to do on a weekend morning is to get up early and go for a run. Mad, I know, but there’s a difference between getting up early because you want to and getting up because a small child is demanding that you do. Often, if I end up running through town, I see people still staggering around from the night before. Last Sunday I ran past a house where one woman, in a spangly dress and runaway mascara, sat on her front step with her dressing gown-clad flatmates, giving them a rundown on her antics the night before. I felt very old and boring by comparison. But I also had the smug satisfaction that I was running home to put a slice of this fruity bread – which I’d made the night before, because I am THAT rock ‘n roll – in the toaster. Take that, young ‘uns!

Spicy Fruit Loaf
Don’t pull one of those ‘but I can’t possibly make bread’ faces, this is really easy. Make it on a Friday or Saturday night (before you go out, if you have a more exciting life than I do) and you’ll be rewarded with lovely toast in the morning.

500g white flour
1 1/2tsp salt
1/2 tsp allspice
2tsp yeast
150g raisins or sultanas
zest of one orange
150ml milk
100ml boiling water
1 egg
2Tbsp honey (or jam!)

About 3Tbsp orange juice
3Tbsp brown sugar

Put the boiling water and milk into a large bowl – with any luck it will be the perfect, lukewarm temperature. Add the yeast and honey or jam, stir and leave to sit for a minute or two. Add the egg and stir again. Add the raisins, zest, flour, salt and allspice and knead to form a smooth, satiny dough that springs back when you punch it. You can do this in a freestanding mixer with a dough hook, or with your hands, as your kitchen dictates. Return to the bowl, cover with plastic and let rise in a warm place until doubled (about 1-1 1/2 hours). Turn out, punch down and knead gently, then form into a tight ball and put into a greased 23cm cake tin (or form into a sausage and put in a large loaf tin). Cover with plastic again and let rise for another 30 minutes. During this time, turn the oven to 220C.
When the oven is hot and the dough has had its second rise, carefully put it in the oven. Turn the temperature down to 190C after 15 minutes and let the loaf cook for another 10 minutes, until well-risen and hollow-sounding when you tap its bottom.
Just before you take the loaf out of the oven, put the orange juice and brown sugar into a small pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat until syrupy (about three minutes). Brush this over the hot loaf when it is cooked. Let cool on a rack while you put your pyjamas/party dress on.

Have a sweet, sweet Friday everyone, thanks for coming to visit this week.



  1. September 15, 2011 / 7:49 pm

    Apart from the fact that it's still Thursday here, ha ha, love the look of your raisin bread. Running isn't for me I have to get up early too often for work, but still get up reasonably early at the weekend.

  2. September 15, 2011 / 8:18 pm

    Ohhh, I LOVE spicy fruit bread- I could actually eat an entire loaf in one sitting, each slice nicely toasted and slathered in butter! Ultimate in warming comfort food. Can't wait to give this recipe a go!o

    In fact, off to make some toast now in honour of your post- sadly just boring wholemeal though…

  3. September 15, 2011 / 10:18 pm

    I can only start to imagine .how great you feel coming back from the cold morning run to sweet spicy warm fruity yummy bread:)

  4. September 15, 2011 / 11:14 pm

    Haha, I love it. I'm TRYING to be less girl-in-spangly-dress and more superwoman-who-goes-for-runs – this weekend could swing either way, but hichever way it goes, this bread will feature! Raisin toast is an absolute favourite

  5. September 16, 2011 / 7:05 am

    Cute story! Raisin toast will always have a place in my heart. Specially with raspberry jam. Weekend breakfasts are my favourite 🙂

  6. September 16, 2011 / 12:48 pm

    ah… the vulgarities of youth eh? How we can look at them now and laugh at their foolishness… if only my knees and back didn't fuck up everytime I went for a run i'd be running right alongside you with my smug nose stuck in the air!… nice loaf x

  7. September 16, 2011 / 1:09 pm

    The one thing I find (or should I say one of the things I find) different in the UK to back home is the Raisin Toast. Generally fruit bread is only on offer at Easter time and even then its not that special (sorry all my UK cohorts, its a sad but true fact!)
    But I can't wait to give this recipe a go. And as for the spangly dressed lady … maybe all she needed was a bit of raisin toast and a nice cuppa and the world will have been put to rights in proper style … none of this last nights cloths on the front door step nonsense ;0)

  8. September 16, 2011 / 1:19 pm

    I loved your story and your sweet bread. This is my first visit to your blog, so I took some time to browse through your earlier posts. I'm so glad I did that. I really like the food and recipes you share with your readers and I'll definitely be back. I hope your have a great day. Blessings …Mary

  9. September 17, 2011 / 7:09 am

    I do love raisin toast but I've never thought of making my own before. Like you I have little choice other than to get up with the sun with my littlest one. I've given up fighting it and am learning to embrace the dawn (well most days…)

  10. September 17, 2011 / 5:03 pm

    Looks gorgeous. I'm so into raisins in bread at the moment. It's funny how I cycle through things – a few months ago it was dried cranberries, now raisins. Your loaf looks fab, wish I was there to share it!

    I guess that when small girl is a big teenager you'll wish that she did occasionally get up early!

  11. September 18, 2011 / 6:55 pm

    I like the idea of the all night party until I do it and it takes me 3 days to recover! I'll be making this – great recipe!

  12. September 19, 2011 / 12:27 am

    haha! I hate to say this but I've never been excited, young or old! 🙂 I would rather run than recover from a party. Although…. I don't run. I really need to though. Anyway, the bread looks delicious!

  13. September 19, 2011 / 7:57 am

    yeast always makes me feel smug – love fruit bread with a slice of cheese in the morning – though I get far more joy at being woken by a smiling child than at the idea of getting up to run (though Sylvia doesn't really wake very early usually so maybe she understands that I am just not a morning person)

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