1 large egg, lightly beaten
2/3 cup milk (5 ounces), warmed to 95 to 125F (see instructions below)
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly (half of one stick)
2 1/4 teaspoons (one one-ounce packet) instant dry yeast
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt, optional and to taste
2 cups + up to 1/3 cup bread flour (12 ounces)
1 heaping cup raisins
In a large mixing bowl, beat the egg; set aside. Warm the milk according to the yeast manufacturer’s recommendations on the packaging. Add warmed milk to the egg. Add melted butter, yeast, sugar, optional salt, and stir to combine. Add 2 cups bread flour and using a spoon and then your hands, form the dough. Turn dough out onto a floured work-surface. Knead for 5 to 8 minutes, or until smooth and supple. If necessary, add up to one-third cup additional flour, for 2 and 1/3 cups total (12 ounces total by weight), in order for the dough to combine and become smooth. The more flour that’s added, the denser and heavier the bread will be; so add it only as necessary.
Mound the dough into a ball. Spray mixing bowl (the same one used to make the dough is fine) with cooking spray or lightly grease it, and place dough into bowl.Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about two to three hours. Punch dough down, remove it from bowl, and place on floured work surface. Sprinkle raisins over the dough and knead them in, for about 2 to 3 minutes.
Flatten the dough into a large rectangle, about 8-inches-by-12-inches. Pinch off ends and place dough log into a sprayed or greased 9-by-5-inch loaf pan, seam side down. Cover pan with plastic wrap and place in a warm, draft-free place until almost doubled in size, about two hours.
In the final minutes of the second rise, preheat oven to 375F. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, or until golden on top. When bread is removed from loaf pan and tapped sharply on the top and bottom, it should sound hollow. Place bread on a wire rack to finish cooling completely before slicing and serving. Bread keeps for up to 5 days, but can also be frozen.
Original recipe is available at Averie Cooks