By: Marion Webber
Nothing could beat the smell of fresh raisin bread baking at my grandmother’s house. All the cousins still talk about it when we get together! One of my cousins recently tried making it, with great success! Everyone enjoyed this bread. Those who couldn’t visit would order a loaf or two to be picked up at church! Bread was a main staple back then. Money was tight, but there always was bread!
These days many automatic bread maker machines take over the kneading process and bake the bread as well, but nothing beats getting into the dough and kneading it yourself. It would be wonderful if our children could learn how bread is made the old fashioned way. Let them get in there and start mixing. The children would have so much fun. It will be a mess, but a mess worth making. Put on some music and enjoy! It’s so good to give children an idea of their past, so why not start now. I am a firm believer in traditions. Maybe once a year everyone gets together to make bread, and a special dinner! Maybe even soup and bread. I am sure that was on grandma’s list quite often!
Another fresh treat was grandma’s strawberry jelly. Fresh raisin bread was great buried in this homemade jelly. Today in this fast paced world it’s McDonald’s fries and chicken nuggets. I think my grandkids could live on them! To give them a piece of bread would never have the same meaning as the good memories we once had. Mothers are busy outside of the home trying to make ends meet! It’s another era! We still can do this once in awhile just for fun and future memories!
Another great idea is to get a large metal bowl to make the bread in. After the children get used to making bread in this large bowl, it could be an item handed down through the generations! Can you imagine everyone fighting over “the bowl” one day! If they do we will know our mission was accomplished! Hope you enjoy this wonderful hand me down recipe!
Grandma’s Raisin Bread
( 1/2 recipe )
5 lbs sifted flour unbleached1/4 lb of lard
2 cups sugar
2 pkg. yeast
1/6 cup salt (about 2 tbsp)
1 lb raisins
1 1/4 quart warm water (not hot)
Put 3/4 of flour in large bowl. Make a hole in center. Put the lard, sugar and salt in center.
Let yeast dissolve in warm water with pinch of sugar for about 5-7 minutes and pour into center of flour in bowl.
Blend water, yeast, lard, sugar and salt together. Add eggs (beaten) one at a time to mixture. Knead the dough, add rest of flour as needed while kneading. Set in warm place, and let dough rise until double in size. Punch down and let rise again. Punch down and put in bread pans about 6-7 loaves. Let rise till double and bake at 325 for about 1 hour.
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