This bread has been a favorite at family gatherings, either formal or casual, for years. It's tender and slightly sweet, with a light texture and attractive shape. Sometimes I change the "freckles", using dried cranberries, currants or chocolate chips instead of the raisins.—Mary E. Relyea, Canastota, New York
- 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
- 8 tablespoons sugar, divided
- 1 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup warm mashed potatoes (without added milk and butter)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3-1/4 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup raisins
- In a large bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar in warm water. Add the butter, eggs, potatoes, salt, remaining sugar and 2 cups flour; beat until smooth. Stir in raisins and enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
- Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide into eight portions. Shape each into a ball. Place dough balls in a greased 10-in. springform pan. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.
- Place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove sides of pan. Place on a wire rack to cool. Yield: 1 loaf, 12 servings.
Originally published as Irish Freckle Bread in Taste of Home February/March 2004, p59
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