Aromatic Raisin Breads

  • 1:30 hour preparation time plus 15-20 min cooking time

    Preparation Time

  • easy

    Difficulty Level

  • 12 raisin breads

    Serves

Mahlab is a spice made from the seeds of a species of cherry. Its flavour is similar to that of bitter almond and cherry, and it is used in pastry making in small quantities giving sweets a unique character. It has been used for centuries in the Middle East, while Iran and Syria have the most significant crops. In Greek cuisine, we use mahlab in sweet loaves of bread ( tsoureki), New Year’s cake (vasilopita) and cookies.

Ingredients

Aromatic

  • 500gr all-purpose flour
  • 1 sachet yeast (7gr)
  • 1 medium egg (50gr)
  • 120 gr honey (about 6-7 tbsp)
  • 250 ml full-fat milk, at room temperature
  • 60 ml orange juice
  • 40 gr melted butter
  • 150 gr raisins
  • 1 tsp mahlab Sunspices
  • 2 tsp orange zest
  • 1/2 tsp mastic Sunspices, crushed

Method

  1. In the mixer bowl we put the flour and the yeast and we mix well. In another bowl, we put the egg, milk, butter, orange juice, honey, mahlab, orange zest and mastic, and we stir well, until the honey is dissolved. We pour the liquid mixture into the flour and we knead with the dough hook, for about 10 minutes, until the dough no longer sticks to the sides. We add the raisins and we knead until they are incorporated. At this point, the dough will still be wet but this is how it should be!

  2. We grease a bowl and we place the dough in that bowl. We sprinkle the dough with some flour and we cover with plastic wrap where we poke two holes. We let the dough rise for about 1 hour, or until it doubles in size.

  3. We preheat the oven to 180C/355F. We line one large pan or two smaller ones with parchment paper. We place the dough on the counter, which we have first dusted with flour and we divide into 12 equal pieces. We shape them (circular or any other shape we want) and we place them in the pan. We bake them for 15 minutes, until golden. We serve them warm or at room temperature. They go well with the morning or the afternoon coffee or tea, while they are also a very delicious snack.

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