Showing posts with label Rozijnenbrood (Dutch Raisin Bread). Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rozijnenbrood (Dutch Raisin Bread). Show all posts


Breakfast is always a little bit of a feast in the Netherlands, especially on the weekends, when there is a bit more time to prepare something special. Our breakfasts are certainly not for the indecisive. Are you going to go for white soft rolls or crunchy ones? Beschuit, toast, or knäckebrot? White, brown or volkoren bread? Not to mention having to choose between the vast amount of toppings, sweet or savory, cold cuts, cheeses, eggs.....or are you skipping bread altogether and prefer a big bowl of pap, porridge? The breakfast table holds a dazzling array of choices, and is such a treasure trove of delights - worth taking time for.

The only thing I think we can all agree on is that savory comes first, and sweet comes last - but even that unwritten rule is sometimes hazy: where does a slice of bread with cheese and jam, or peanut butter and hagelslag fall? Is it all-in-one, or does it come after the savory and before the sweet? And is three slices of bread too much for our Calvinistic genes? Interesting things to ponder while enjoying a cup of coffee or tea, and another slice of something good :-)

One of the breads that always makes the breakfast table a little bit more festive and special is a pillowy loaf of raisin bread, rozijnenbrood. A sweet dough, flavored with just a hint of cinnamon, and juicy, sweet raisins all throughout the loaf. This bread is good with just a lick of butter, or topped with a slice of aged cheese. It can also be used as a base for wentelteefjes, or broodschoteltjes

Don't be alarmed by the large amount of raisins that go in the bread: they will all fit! For this recipe, I rinse the raisins in warm water, let them sit in the warm water for a few minutes, then set them out to air dry for a couple of hours. I want them somewhat plump-ish on the inside but not overly saturated, and dry on the outside. 


2 cups (250 grams) raisins
1 3/4 cup (250 grams) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons (25 grams) sugar
1/2 teaspoon (4 grams) salt
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup (125 ml) water or milk, lukewarm
2 teaspoons (8 grams) active dry yeast
3 tablespoons (40 grams) butter, softened
1 egg, beaten

Rinse the raisins in lukewarm water, and set them out to air dry. 

Mix the flour, sugar, salt, and cinnamon in a bowl. Sprinkle the yeast on top of the lukewarm water or
milk and let it stand for five minutes, or until it's frothy, then mix it in with the dry ingredients. Knead, either in a machine or by hand, until the dough more or less comes together, then add the butter and most of the egg (keep two teaspoons behind for brushing the top). Continue to knead the dough until you have  cohesive whole, about three to four minutes. Pat the dough into a ball, cover and let it rise for a good thirty minutes, or until about not quite doubled in size. 

Dust the counter with a little bit of flour, pat the air out of the dough, and put a handful of raisins on top. With the use of a scraper, or a floured hand, fold the dough over itself, incorporating the raisins. Repeat this until all the raisins have found a spot in the dough. 

Shape the dough into an oval loaf, grease a 8 x 4 inch (20 x 10 cm) loaf tin, and place the dough inside. Cover and let rise at room temperature until the dough peeks over the top: about an hour, but depending on the actual temperature of the room, this may take less - just keep an eye on it. When ready, brush the top with the remaining egg.

Heat the oven to 350F/175C and bake the loaf, in the middle, for about fifteen minutes, then place aluminum foil over the top to keep it from browning too fast. Bake for another twenty minutes, or until golden brown*. The internal temperature should measure 185F/85F and rising (meaning that the digital thermometer reaches the temperature pretty quickly and continues to rise beyond that). 

Pull the bread, let it cool in the tin, and remove it when it's lukewarm. Let it cool down on a rack before cutting. 

 * I don't follow the "bread is done when it sounds hollow when you tap it" because I don't know what "hollow" sounds like to anybody else, so I temp the bread with a digital thermometer.