Classic Sweet Bread


White Scribbled Underline

– 1 ½ cup – luke warm whole milk – 1 tbsp. – active dry yeast – 1 ¼ cup – granulated white sugar – 4 - large eggs (room temperature) – 4 oz. – unsalted butter (melted and cooled) – ½ tsp. – salt – 1 tsp. – vanilla extract – 6 cups – all-purpose flour – 2 cups – golden raisins Braided Bread Egg Wash – 1 - large egg – 1 tbsp. - whole milk



2 servings

4 hours 15 minutes

Step 1

Let’s start by prepping the raisins! Place 2 cups of raisins into a small bowl. Pour boiling hot water until the water covers the raisins entirely.

Step 2

Let the raisins soak for 15 minutes, then drain the water and rinse the raisins. Set the raisins aside, for now, we’ll use them in the recipe later.

Step 3

Time to activate the yeast! To do this, heat milk in a small saucepan over a stovetop burner on high heat for about 30 seconds or so until the milk reaches a lukewarm temperature. The milk should be barely warm at this point.

Step 4

Now transfer the milk into a small bowl. Add ¼ cup of sugar to it and stir well until the sugar dissolves entirely.

Step 5

Next, sprinkle the active dry yeast over this milk-sugar mixture. Stir it in and then set it aside in a warm place for 15 minutes to allow the yeast to activate.

Step 6

You’ll notice bubbles forming on the top once the yeast has activated. You’ll also be able to smell the distinctive scent of yeast once it’s done.

Step 7

Let’s prepare our delicious, sweet bread dough. Start by melting butter in a bowl in the microwave or on the stovetop. Set it aside to let it cool down.

Step 8

In the large bowl of a stand mixer, beat eggs and sugar on high for 10 minutes or until it turns foamy and pale yellow in color.

Step 9

Now reduce to a low speed and slowly mix in the yeast mixture. Continue mixing on low while adding salt and vanilla extract to this combined mixture.

Step 10

Finally, add raisins to this mixture. Now switch the dough hook attachment on your stand mixer. Add 1 cup of flour at a time until 6 cups of flour have been incorporated.

Step 11

Continue mixing until the dough comes together and feels smooth and elastic, or until it stops sticking to the side of the bowl. This should take approximately 15 minutes.

Step 11

The dough has enough flour when it's not sticking to the spatula or fingers even if it may look and feel too soft.

Step 12

Let the dough rise in a warm environment for 2 hours. Cover it with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap to let it rise.

Step 13

After the dough has risen and tripled in volume, transfer it onto a floured surface. I used a large cutting board. Split the dough in half.

Step 14

Take one-half of the dough and roll it into a log. Then split it into four equal pieces.

Step 15

Roll each of the four smaller pieces into thin, long logs (about 1.5-foot-long and 1 inch thick).

Step 16

Pinch the ends of all four thin logs together to start shaping them into a braid.

Step 17

Braid them into a nice and even braid as is shown in the picture (I have video instructions on my Instagram account under the Easter Bread bubble on how to make and braid this bread).

Step 18

Pinch the opposite end of the braided loaf together, then place it on a greased baking sheet.

Step 19

Make and Brush On the Egg Wash: Using a hand whisk, whisk egg, and milk together until it’s well mixed. Brush the egg wash generously over the top of the easter bread challah.

Step 20

Repeat the same steps with the second half of the dough by shaping it and brushing egg wash on top of it as we did with the first piece.

Step 21

Let the braided challahs rise in a warm place for another 45 minutes to an hour. It will expand nicely and close the gaps.

Step 22

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Bake each pan for 25 minutes or both pans for 30 minutes rotating them 10 minutes before the baking time ends.

Step 23

Remove from the oven and let them cool for 15 minutes on a wire rack before removing them from the pan.

How to Store

White Scribbled Underline

If you have some Sweet bread leftover, you can store it in an airtight container or bag for up to 5 days.


Press "Learn More" below  for exact measurements and step-by-step photo and video instuctions.