Buttermilk Whole Wheat Raisin Bread

Many of us have wonderful memories of someone- a grandma, maybe- who made fragrant, yeasty, tender loaves of homemade bread. Heaven in a loaf pan. 

I found this recipe on the Red Star Yeast website. Buttermilk, whole wheat flour, brown sugar…..as soon as I saw those ingredients, I knew I was hooked. You just know something that’s baked with buttermilk and brown sugar is going to be good.

Buttermilk Whole Wheat Raisin Bread
Makes 1 loaf


1 cup water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (I used canola)
1 cup bread flour 
2 cups whole wheat flour 
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons buttermilk powder
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1/2 cup raisins


Combine bread flour, salt, brown sugar, buttermilk powder and yeast in your stand mixer bowl. We're not going to use the whole wheat flour just yet. 

In a separate bowl, combine the water and the vegetable oil. Heat these to 120 to 130 degrees. Temperature is very important here- if the liquid is not warm enough, the yeast won't grow and your bread won't rise. If the liquid is too hot, it will kill the yeast and your bread won't rise. So, at this point, I always dig my candy thermometer out from the back of the drawer to make sure I get the liquids to just the right temperature.

Pour the heated water and oil into your stand mixer bowl and mix for 4 minutes on medium speed using the paddle attachment. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl a couple of times as you go along.

Now switch to the dough hook attachment. Gradually add whole wheat flour, and raisins, and knead with dough hook(s) 5 to 7 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.

Get a large bowl and spray it with non-stick spray. Lightly shape your dough into a ball and set it into the greased bowl, then turn the dough over (that greases the top of the dough for you). Now cover the bowl (I use a clean kitchen towel), and set it in a warm place.


In about 1 1/2 hours (time will vary, depending on how warm it is), the dough will have just about doubled in size. This is where you'd test to see if the dough is "ripe".

after first rise

Turn the dough onto lightly floured surface and punch it down to remove air bubbles. Roll or pat (I patted) into a 14 x 7-inch rectangle. Starting with shorter side, roll up tightly, pressing dough into roll. Pinch edges and ends to seal. Place in greased 9 x 5- inch loaf pan.

shaped loaf before second rise

 Cover the loaf pan and let the dough rise until it has about doubled in size. That's the test my mom used. A little more accurate test you can do is to touch the side of the dough lightly with your fingertip. If the indentation remains ("ripe"), the loaf is ready for the oven. Bake in preheated 375ยบ F oven 30 to 40 minutes (mine was done in 30). Use that time to enjoy how wonderful your kitchen smells. When the bread is done, remove it from the pan onto a wire rack, and let it cool completely before slicing. 

This bread was tender and moist, and the raisins added a little extra sweetness. I was very impressed with how well the bread "kept". I think it may have been even better after a day or two.

Mix up some cinnamon honey butter to serve with the bread

Recipe by Red Star Yeast

This bread was baked for the 7th annual World Bread Day: Oct. 16, 2012. World Bread Day is a time to have fun and unite with other home bakers, but it’s also a day to be grateful to have enough food and to heighten awareness of the world food problem.


  1. Hi Joy! This bread is just beautiful! Your kitchen must have been so wonderfully fragrant while it was baking! I would love a piece of this toasted, with a dab of honey butter for my breakfast tomorrow! So glad we will be baking together with The Cake Slice bakers! I have a feeling I will be enjoying your blog very much! (I love collecting old pyrex and vintage bakewear, too!)

  2. Oh I just love me some raisin bread...and with cinnamon honey butter?? Even better! Thanks for sharing this amazing recipe!

  3. Hi Joy, thanks so much for coming over to say hi! This bread really looks wonderful, I guess the buttermilk went some way in keeping it moist after although I've never come across buttermilk powder! I love the idea behind your blog, food and history, looking forward to sharing your first year of blogging with you! xx

  4. Welcome to the world of blogging! For your first post you certainly have done really well. Your buttermilk bread looks amazing! How do I join your blog?

  5. I do not know why but I am so scared of using yeast. Maybe I'll experiment with this one, it looks yummy!

  6. Hi, Stacie! I hope you do decide to jump in and just DO YEAST! LOL! If you do, I really want to hear how it goes!

    Thank you for your comment! :)

  7. I am hooked, too. Meaning I will bake this loaf soon. :-)

    Thank you for baking for Word Bread Day . Hope you will join us next year again!

  8. Zorra, participating in World Bread Day was a great experience- I will definitely be back next year! :)

  9. I've got to see if I can adapt this for my bread machine...it just looks sooo good!

  10. If you try it in your bread machine, let me know how it goes! Thank you for coming by! :)

  11. A slice (or two) of this bread sounds like the perfect breakfast for me, I can never resist all that goodness!

    1. I completely agree, Kevin- it's perfect for breakfast! Thank you for stopping by!


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