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Raisin Bread with Red Fife and Dark Rye

Raisin Bread with Red Fife and Dark Rye

By: Cecilia Buyswheeler-Gunther (Read Bio)

Raisin Bread with Red Fife and Dark Rye
This raisin bread is fairly dark (thanks to the molasses) and dense (thanks to the 100% extraction Red Fife and Dark Rye). It is also sweet and moist due to the raisins, with a hint of sharpness from the starter discard.


  • 300g Red Fife Flour
  • 200g Dark Rye Flour
  • 500g water
  • 300g raisins
  • 100g bran
  • 250g sourdough starter (does not matter whether it is active or not).
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 tsp yeast
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt


    1. Whisk or sieve the flours together with the bran.
    2. Add water.  Autolyze for one hour (this enables the water to hydrate the flour).

    3. Add raisins and leave for another hour so the raisins absorb the rest of the water and plump up.

    4. Stir the molasses into the starter and blend into dough.

    5. Turn dough out and gently pat down, sprinkle the yeast onto the dough, cut into four pieces, pile up the pieces, one on top of the other and press down gently again, knead lightly a couple of times. Press down, sprinkle salt on top stipple in with wet fingers then stretch and fold a few times, just to incorporate the salt (In fact this will be more like kneading than stretching - there is not a lot of stretch in this dough).

    6. Rest for thirty minutes or until the dough is relaxed. Roll into a shape that fits in your pan and place in greased loaf tin. (I often line the tin with baking paper too).

    7. Rise for two or three hours.

    8. Heat oven to 450F. Place a pan full of hot water in the oven 10 minutes before you bake.
    9. Bake for around 40-45 minutes until it sounds like a door when you knock on it.
    10. Let the loaf cool thoroughly before cutting. I eat this with piles of butter. I love real butter.
    11. If there is any bread left over at the end of the week, this makes the most wonderful bread pudding.


You can add nuts, seeds, oats, and dried fruits, but no more than 300g. After that the loaf will become a bit too dry.


For four weekends in a row I worked on creating a recipe for my breakfast bread. I wanted a bread dense with nuts and seeds and fruits and all kinds of healthy things. But some loaves did not rise, some were too wet, some were too dry and I realized that I had become convoluted in my experiments and tied into knots. So I went right back to basics and made a good old fashioned raisin bread with LOTS of raisins in it. I like a raisin bread to be dark (molasses) and dense (Red Fife and Dark Rye) and moist (raisins) with a hint of sharpness from the starter discard. Sweet loves sour. Simple, and it worked.

I added Janie’s Mill bran, it is nice and fine, and perfect as an addition to this loaf. Our bellies and digestive systems are kept in good working condition by roughage so we need to get as much fiber into our diets as possible. Stone ground flours are great for bellies!

You will also see that there is as much water as there is flour in this dough (100% hydration) so this is a loaf you will bake in a pan. We need the extra moisture to soak that bran and plump up those raisins, however it will still hold a shape fairly well if you allow those two long rests. I had been baking this loaf with Spelt and though it was perfectly OK, the loaf was suddenly great when I switched to Red Fife and Dark Rye. The earthiness of the Red Fife, the honey notes in the Bono Rye paired perfectly with the raisins!

Posted on October 21 2020