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Grandma’s Christmas Bread

For as long as I can remember, this bread has been a part of my family's traditional Christmas morning breakfast. I modified the recipe so I could make it in a bread machine. — Barb and Ray Schmeling, Rhinelander, Wisconsin
  • Total Time
    Prep: 10 min. Bake: 3 hours
  • Makes
    1 loaf (about 2 pounds)


  • 1-1/4 cups warm whole milk (70° to 80°)
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 3/4 cup golden raisins
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup dried currants
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • GLAZE:
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons 2% milk
  • 1 teaspoon butter, melted
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • In bread machine pan, place the first seven ingredients in order suggested by manufacturer. Select basic bread setting. Choose crust color and loaf size if available. Bake according to bread machine directions (check dough after 5 minutes of mixing; add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water or flour if needed).
  • Just before the final kneading (your bread machine may audibly signal this), add the raisins, currants and lemon zest. In a small bowl, combine glaze ingredients; drizzle over cooled bread.
Nutrition Facts
1 slice: 178 calories, 2g fat (1g saturated fat), 7mg cholesterol, 250mg sodium, 37g carbohydrate (18g sugars, 2g fiber), 4g protein.

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  • Laurel
    Nov 25, 2019

    Hi Barb, Can you give me some general guidelines on how to make Grandma's Christmas Bread without using a bread maker? Thanks!

  • Nancy
    Aug 31, 2019

    I made it today! Even though I don't seem to get nice rounded loaves it still tastes wonderful. I made it just like you wrote it! I will be making this often. I am thinking of making it for my neighbors to give at Christmas time. I always do something each year and this will beat anything I have done in the past!

  • Carol
    Nov 3, 2017

    Haven't tried it yet, but plan to! Barb...our family has a similar Christmas bread that is made each year, with very similar ingredients. I'm curious if we have matching recipes! I am trying to "modernize" the recipe, and came upon this. I'm keeping my fingers crossed! Thank you!

  • Benaifer
    Apr 23, 2016

    I added candied orange peel instead of lemon peel.Has risen beautifully.

  • bestlittlecookEVER
    Nov 11, 2013

    I admit that I was very upset that it was not my grammy's bread!! :( Why would you tell me that it is my grandma's bread when it is NOT?!?!?!?!? VERY ANGRY!! JK LOL It's a GREAT recipe!!!

  • hcdelong
    Jul 28, 2010

    I made this bread in my bread machine in the middle of summer. It was a great sweet treat without turning on the oven.