Newfoundland Molasses Raisin Bread

Wednesday, December 19, 201214comments

Newfoundland Molasses Raisin Bread
Newfoundland Molasses Raisin Bread

Originally published on December 22, 2008.

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 so 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.

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.

  • 1 cups lukewarm water
  • 1 ¼ cups lukewarm milk
  • 2 tbsp white sugar
  • 2 (8 gram) envelopes dry yeast
  • 8-9 cups flour
  • 1 ¼ cups molasses
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¾ cup melted butter
  • 2 beaten egg
  • 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.

When the yeast is ready, add it to 3 cups of the flour, the salt, butter, molasses and beaten egg along with the warm milk in a large bowl or in the bowl of a large electric mixer that uses a dough hook. 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 to bring your dough to the 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 the countertop or bread board to knead. You may need to use a little less or a little more flour, this is not uncommon. Knead the dough for an additional 10 minutes either in the electric mixer or on a bread board or countertop. When it is still quite sticky, I like to turn the dough out of the mixer and work the last of the flour in by hand kneading.

Cover dough and leave to rest and rise for one hour. 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. Divide the dough into 8 equal portions, forming each division into a ball. Place 2 balls of dough in each 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 35-45 minutes depending on the size of the pans that you are using.

When baked, turn loaves out onto a wire rack to cool. Brush the tops with melted butter if desired to soften the top crust.

Newfoundland Molasses Raisin Bread

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Sarah Saunders
July 19, 2009 at 1:56 PM

Hello, i come here often to look at your recipes, and on the odd ocassion i try one out. Last night i made the Molasses raisin bread recipe. WOW! WAY better than the recipe i already had, this one is replacing the old one, and my husband and father are two happy men today :P Thanks for the great recipe.

April 22, 2012 at 1:25 PM

I am to the baking stage as I write this. Oven is preheating and I am having trouble waiting. I can't wait to get it out of the oven. Thanks Barry for another fantabulous recipe.Dale MacDonald

August 31, 2012 at 4:26 PM

My Nanny used to make Raisin Bread for us all of the time. She passed away a few years ago. I'm hoping this recipe is similar to hers. The ingredients look the same.

December 19, 2012 at 3:05 PM

I halved the recipe and make it today, and my husband said it was the best yet. My breads can be dunchy sometimes, but this one was lovely. Thanks!

December 19, 2012 at 6:35 PM

What kind of milk is best?? looking forward to trying my first homemade bread

December 19, 2012 at 7:49 PM

Whole milk is always best for baking. Even undiluted evaporated milk can be used for added richness.

December 30, 2012 at 1:19 PM

Excellent recipe! We always had "sweet bread" at Christmas time, in Newfoundland. Just to change things up, a bit, I substituted a cup of dried cranberries for some of the raisins. I think Cranberry-Raisin Bread may be a new tradition, in my house.

February 11, 2013 at 1:24 PM

Hello Barry, could you possibly add cinnamon to this bread? Just wondering if that would cinnamon-raisin bread and wondering if it would work with this recipe.

February 11, 2013 at 1:43 PM

Absolutely Amy. Add as much as you like. You would need at least a couple of tbsp to get the cinnamon taste to come through.

April 28, 2013 at 12:32 PM

Great Job. This is a bit different then our families version but it is excellent and still captures that taste that only comes from a true Newfoundlanders heart ;)
Alicia Cole

October 28, 2013 at 6:59 PM

I'm very excited to try this bread!! I love baking. Iin wondering if I can freeze some dough. When would I do that? Also, could I prep this the night before I bake it?
Thank you

November 16, 2013 at 11:31 AM

Ive never frozen this dough but you could try it. Freeze after the first rise. I fond this recipe takes a long time to rise but you can try it in the fridge overnight if you have plenty of time to let it finish rising in the morning if necessary. Good luck.

December 14, 2013 at 12:51 AM

I love this recipe, very close to Grandmas! By any chance, do you know of a recipe for this bread that would work in a bread machine?

December 15, 2013 at 3:49 PM

Sorry Kaatt you will have to try to adapt this to your capacity bread maker. It's impossible to do a definitive bread maker recipe since they vary in size.

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