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Rosinenzopf (Raisin Bread)

3 3/4 cups (500g) flour
1/4 cup (50g) sugar or less
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 pack (1 1/2 tsp.) dry yeast
1 cup warm milk (115F)
2 small packs of raisins (1 1/2 oz. each pack)
2 egg yolks

Wash the raisins with warm water and blot dry.

Stir dry yeast and 1 Tbs. of the measured sugar into the milk, and
let rest for 10 minutes. Mix the flour with the rest of the sugar.
When yeast has proven (looks foamy) add it to the flour, and add
the melted butter and raisins. Knead dough. Cover dough with 1 tbs.
oil, put plastic wrap over the bowl, and place into a pan with hot
water. Let rest for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes turn dough over and let rest for additional 20
minutes. Punch the dough down, take 1/3 of dough and set aside.
Form 3 strings each about 14 inches long, braid, and pinch ends
together. Put on a non-stick cookie sheet or use greased parchment
paper. Moisten the center of the braid with a little bit of water,
this will make the next braid stick to the first one.

Take the remaining dough, form an additional 14 inch braid and put
on top of the first one. Pinch end of both braids together. Beat
2 eggyolks, and brush braid with it. Cover braid with a deep baking
pan and a towel on top of this, and put on top of a baking pan
filled with hot water.

Let rest for 40 minutes. Preheat oven to 350F. Remove towel and
baking pans, and put into oven. Bake in the middle to upper middle
in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes. Bread will become darkbrown on
top but should be light brown on the bottom. Remove bread from
cookie sheet and put on cooling rack after removing from oven.

Bread will taste best the next day with butter on it. Variation:
Leave out the raisins, but add 1 tbs. sugar to the dough.


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