Newfoundland Molasses Raisin Bread. A classic Newfoundland recipe that everyone’s Mom or Nan made back in the day. It’s often enjoyed at the Holidays and is a favourite for morning toast with gobs of melting butter.
In the last few remaining baking days leading up to Christmas, I like to make this incredibly popular Newfoundland Molasses Raisin Bread commonly referred to in this province as “Lassie Raisin Bread”. This is another of those iconic Newfoundland recipes that every native Newfoundlander’s mother or grandmother used to make and hopefully still does.
This bread is fantastic warm, straight out of the oven and makes the absolute best toast ever! Molasses raisin toast is a bit of a Christmas morning tradition in our house. I normally make several loaves for the freezer too and a few extra loaves for a couple of lucky gift recipients.
If you’ve never done it before, be sure to hold back a little of the dough for “Lassie Raisin Toutons” which make a fantastic brunch addition too. Fry them at a little lower heat than you do regular toutons though as the added sugar in this dough browns and burns more easily.
Originally published on December 22, 2008.
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If you liked this recipe, you will also want to try this Steamed Molasses Raisin Pudding
- 1 cup lukewarm water
- 2 tbsp white sugar
- 2 8 gram envelopes dry yeast (or 4 tsp total)
- 8 cups all purpose flour approximately
- 1 ½ cups lukewarm milk
- 1 cup molasses
- 1 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup melted butter
- 2 beaten eggs
- 3 cups raisins
In a small bowl, stir the sugar into the lukewarm water and then sprinkle the yeast over the top. Let stand without stirring for 10 minutes.
In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer that has a dough hook, stir together 3 cups of the flour along with the salt. When the yeast is ready, stir it add it to the flour and salt along with the butter, molasses, warm milk and beaten eggs.
Using a wooden spoon or the regular paddle of your electric mixer, mix slowly for 4-5 minutes until the mixture is smooth with no lumps. If using an electric mixer, switch to the dough hook at this point and begin to slowly incorporate the remaining flour. You may need to use a little more or less flour than the recipe details to bring your dough to a proper consistency that is not too sticky. This is not unusual.
If not using an electric mixer, keep mixing in the flour gradually until a soft dough forms that leaves the sides of the bowl.
Add the raisins at this point and continue to knead until the raisins are evenly distributed in the dough.
Turn the dough out onto a flour-dusted counter top or breadboard to knead. Knead the dough for an additional 5-10 minutes by hand.
Place the dough in a large bowl cover the dough with a damp tea towel. Leave it to rest and rise for two hours. Punch the dough down and knead it for a few minutes by hand before letting it rest for another 10 minutes.
Grease 4 medium loaf pans. 9 x 5 inches at the top or similar dimensions. Divide the dough into 12 equal portions. Form each portion into a ball. I use a kitchen scale for this purpose, taking the total weight of the dough and them dividing by 12.
Place 3 balls of dough in each prepared loaf pan. Cover with a clean tea towel and allow the dough to rise until it is about 2 inches above the rim of the pan, about 2-3 hours depending on room temperature. Molasses bread generally takes quite a bit longer to rise/proof than white bread.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 40-50 minutes depending on the size of the pans that you are using. The top and bottom crust should have good colour.
When baked, turn the loaves out onto a wire rack to cool. Brush the tops with melted butter if desired to soften the top crust.
For those who are familiar with making your own bread, you should be aware that the rising time for this bread is generally quite a bit longer than other breads. The times quoted here are just guidelines and will vary considerably depending on room temperature. The most important rising is in the pans; just make sure that the dough rises at least a couple of inches above the bread pans before baking the bread.
Total time noted in the recipe does not include rising times. Allow severl hours in addition.
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