Sweet Raisin Bread

My inspiration to make this sweet bread today is the aroma of home made bread back in India. In my home town, Bangalore - Iyengar bakeries are known for their fresh breads. Oh my god, I can never forget that taste. Even now, every evening, if you smell fresh baked bread as you wait in the traffic on two wheelers, look around, there will surely be a bakery flooded with people like bees to honey. It does not surprise me that every fourth person in India has diabetes! Blame the bakeries! 

This is a soft bread that will your house the same way, with the sweet aroma of raisins and fresh bread. 

What you need: Makes one 4x9 inch bread
1 cup raisins
2 tsp yeast
2 cups hot water
3 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp vegetable oil

Soak raisins in a cup of hot water. Set aside.

In a large bowl, dissolve the sugar in hot water, let it cool for 2 minutes, add in yeast. Stir well and let is sit for about 10 minutes until it foams.

Mix salt and oil into this mixture. Use a food processor, stand mixer or a regular hand mixer with dough blade attachment. 

Add flour into the yeast mixture little by little . Once all the flour is added in, let it knead for about a minute until smooth. 

Grease your hands with oil. Knead this dough with your hands on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Grease a fairly large bowl, place the dough in it. 

Cover with a damp cloth. Allow to rise until it doubles in quantity, about 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on how warm your kitchen is.

Deflate it and knead for a few minutes. Drain the raisins, and add them in. Shape it out into a bread loaf, and place it in a greased and dusted bread pan. 

Allow the dough to rise again for another 30 minutes or so, until dough has risen to the brim of the pan or higher.You may coat the top of the dough with some melted butter. 

Bake it at 350 degrees F for 30 - 40 minutes, until the crust is golden brown. Enjoy!