Honey-Sweetened Raisin Bread in the Bread Machine

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Honey-Sweetened Raisin Bread in the Bread Machine

As you know by now, we’re working to eliminate “added sugars” this month. It’s an experiment to teach my kids about what’s in their food and hopefully direct them in a different direction in terms of what they choose to eat and what they end up preferring. (You can read along with our sugar fasting experiment here.)

Certainly there are plenty of “sugars” naturally occurring in grains, milk, and fruits, but we’re trying to avoid the “extras”. It’s been going okay. I can’t tell you how THRILLED I am when I find a processed food that is safe. Needless to say I’m spending a lot of time in the kitchen.

One thing that helps in that department is enlisting the aide of my children, in this case, my oldest daughter, aka FishChick7. Last week we made several loaves of bread in the bread machine as I go through the process of training her to use the machine on her own. I figure that it’s not any more complicated or dangerous than an Easy Bake Oven, and a lot more practical. You know how I love my bread machine.

Honey-Sweetened Raisin Bread in the Bread Machine

After her first batch of bread, she wrote out the recipe. I can’t tell you how AMAZED I am at that! That recipe, my friends is a keepsake!

This bread has turned out to be a great afternoon snack for my people. It takes about 3 hours from start to finish which means it’s done just about the time we’re done with school. The kids spread butter on the warm, honey-sweetened bread and it makes for a great snack. Leftovers are good toasted and buttered for breakfast.

Note: this is not an overly sweet bread. So, if you’re used to very sweet breads, you may be a bit surprised.

Honey-Sweetened Raisin Bread in the Bread Machine

Once she gets the ingredients in the pan, my girl loves to watch it need the dough. It’s pretty fun, actually.

We’ve adapted a raisin bread recipe from Beth Hensperger’s Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook. It’s one of my favorite resources for bread baking. We obviously changed the sweetener, used all whole wheat flour, and switched up the oil, because honestly, I don’t think canola is all it was cracked up to be a few years ago. I use sunflower oil instead.

I often use the bread machine just for making the dough and then switch it to a regular pan for baking in the oven. But, I want my girl to feel a sense of independence in tackling this on her own. We tested this recipe with milk as well as water. The water-based recipe rose higher and did not sink as bread machine loaves are apt to do. Go figure. Your mileage may vary.

Honey-Sweetened Raisin Bread in the Bread Machine

Note: you can, of course, prepare the dough by hand and bake it in a traditional loaf pan in the oven at 350, for 30 to 50 minutes, or until golden brown and hollow-sounding when knocked on the bottom. I haven’t baked it this way, so I’m not absolutely positive on the baking time.

About Jessica Fisher

I believe anyone can prepare delicious meals—no matter their budget.

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  1. This recipe sounds delicious! What does the tablespoon of gluten accomplish? I have all the other ingredients on hand.

    • Added gluten helps to develop the sponginess in the bread. You can leave it out if you want.

  2. Nikki says

    I was also wondering about the gluten…….can we leave that out? You say we could do this recipe without a bread machine (mine packed up recently and we can’t replace it) how long do you think i’d need to knead it for? thanks!

    • The gluten is nice to have, but you can leave it out. I’d knead until you have a smooth elastic dough. But, keep in mind, I haven’t made it that way, so I can’t promise anything. It “should” follow standard guidelines.

  3. Mary G says

    That sound really good. Do you think this would work okay if I just ran it through the dough cycle of my machine? My bread machine makes great dough but just so-so bread.

    • That’s what I normally do for bread. I’m just not positive on the baking time. I allotted 30 to 50 minutes above, but I could be off.

  4. kelly d says

    hey jess, looks yummy..was wondering if you can help me out..i am trying to find an oil to bake with..getting away from canola..and was excited to see you using sunflower oil..but then i read that sunflower oil should be avoided because it is refined..help!!

    • You know, I don’t really know. Oils are confusing to me. I don’t do canola at all anymore. And unfortunately the “pure” olive oil I got at Costco, says it’s part refined. I’m not sure quite honestly.

      • Meg says

        Have you tried avocado oil? I don’t know its status re: refined/unrefined, but I love to use it for just about anything.


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