Miss Beacham was a comforter of troubled souls, and what could be more comforting than a loaf of moist, sweet, chewy raisin bread? This is my favorite recipe in the world for raisin bread, and it was exactly the sort of think Miss Beacham would bake and give to her neighbors in Aunt Dimity and the Next of Kin.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit
1 1/2 cups seedless raisins
1 1/2 cups water
1 egg slightly beaten
1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon grated orange peel
2 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Place raisins and water in a separate saucepan; bring
a boil. Cool to room temperature. In a separate bowl, mix the next four ingredients. Combine mixture with cooled raisins and raisin water. Sift together dry ingredients; add to mixture, beating well. Pour into greased bread pan. Bake about a60 minutes or until toothpick inserted in middle of loaf comes out just a bit moist.
Reprinted from AUNT DIMITY AND THE NEXT OF KIN by Nancy Atherton by permission of Penguin Books, a member of Penguin Putnam, Inc. Copyright 2005 by Nancy T. Atherton. All rights reserved. This excerpt, or any parts thereof, may not be reproduced in any form without permission.