Very popular in Greece, raisin bread is a type of bread made with with sultanas and flavored with cinnamon. Usually it is made with white flour, sugar and some variations may include honey or eggs.
Since we love raisin breads, I usually make these healthy, vegan raisin bread rolls, with whole wheat flour, local, organic raisins and grape molasses, a healthy and delicious alternative to refined sugar, widely used in traditional Greek baking and cooking.
I usually eat mine for breakfast, almost right from the oven and actually they are lovely served freshly baked, as they are, or split open and spread with vegan butter and a marmalade of your choice.
- 1 1/4 cup (300 ml) lukewarm water
- 1 tsp dry yeast
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) grape molasses
- 4 cups (600 g) whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup raisins
- almond milk or water and sesame for sprinkling
1. In a cup put half of the warm water, yeast and a spoonful of flour and leave the mixture for 15-20 minutes in a warm place to activate the yeast. If the yeast is active you will notice that many dense bubbles will be formed on the water surface. Otherwise throw the mixture away and repeat the process with another sachet of yeast (yes I know that it is difficult to throw it away but you need an active yeast to make bread!).
2. In a large bowl or in the kneading machine mix the yeast mixture, the rest of the water, salt, spices and grape molasses, and slowly add the flour, kneading constantly, until a soft dough is formed. Continue kneading for another ten minutes (if using kneading machine it takes less). The more we knead the better texture and elasticity the dough will have. Add the raisins and knead until they are fully incorporated.
3. Put the dough in a bowl and cover with a wet towel or clear film to protect the dough from dehydrating. Let it rise for 4-5 hours at room temperature (slow fermentation gives a unique taste and flavor to your bread. You can see also lagana bread recipe).
4. Put the dough on a floured surface and knead again, folding and kneading several times to form a roll. Separate into eight equal pieces and knead them to form eight small rolls.
5. Put them in a pan lined with parchment paper, leaving at least 3 cm space between each other. Spray your rolls with water or brush with the almond milk and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Let them rise in a warm place until they double in volume. It will take about fifty minutes. I usually let them rise in the oven at 40 oC.
6. Bake at 200 oC for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Let them cool on a wire rack and enjoy!