Raisin White Bread

Raisin White Bread

A Recipe from Fleischmann’s Bake-it-easy Yeast Book (1972)

About the Recipe

After a request for raisin bread from my husband was compounded with a weekly challenge in my favorite vintage cookbook group asking for a dish out of a vintage advertising book, I knew exactly where to turn!

Like many folks out there, yeast breads were scary for me. Little by little I’ve been trying my hand at more loaves. While this one is a little bit quirky with the mashed potatoes and starchy water used as a base, it’s absolutely stunningly delicious. The crust is crunchy and the inside is fluffy.

I used golden raisins, which are my favorite to bake with. This recipe would be very easy to substitute any kind of dried fruit into with success. Also, if you’re like me and don’t keep margarine around, just use a little vegetable oil instead of the melted margarine and it’ll work just fine.

Oh! And since you don’t have the book, here’s are the instructions that are provided on shaping the loaf:

About the Book

This was another book from the Bonnie Slotnick grab bag, and she was so on point sending this my way. It has all of my favorite things – advertising, photographs, tried and true recipes designed to get you buying more! The recipes seem pretty simple and straightforward, and all of your favorite types of yeast breads are included. I can’t wait to bake from it again!

About the Glassware

I pulled out my Fire King Meadow Green loaf pan for this one. Something about milk glass just makes the best bread.

I plated on my Old Town Blue Corelle platter. This pattern was released in 1972, so perhaps mine’s not the first Fleischmann’s Bake-it-easy loaf to find its way on to this platter…

The Recipe!


1 cup warm potato water (105*F – 115*F)
2 pkgs Fleischmann’s Active Dry Yeast
3/4 cup warm milk (105*F – 115*F)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup lukewarm mashed potatoes
6-7 cups unsifted flour
2 tsp salt
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup margarine, melted & cooled
2 cups dark seedless raisins


Measure potato water into large warm bowl. Sprinkle in Fleischmann’s Yeast; stir until disolved. Add milk, 2 T sugar, potatoes, and 2 cups flour; beat until smooth. Cover; let rise until bubbly, about 1/2 hour.

Stir down; add remaining 2 T sugar, salt and 1 cup flour; beat until smooth. Stir in eggs and margarine. Add enough additional flour to make a stiff dough. Turn out onto lightly floured board. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 8-10 minutes. Place in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover; let rise in warm place, free from draft, until doubled in bulk, about 40 minutes.

Punch dough down. Turn out onto lightly floured board. Knead in raisins. Divide dough in half. Cover; let rest 5 minutes. Roll each half into a 14×9-inch rectangle. Shape into loaves. Place in 2 greased 9x5x3-inch loaf pans. Cover; let rise in warm place, free from draft, until doubled in bulk, about 50 minutes.

Bake at 350* about 45 minutes, or until done. Remove from pans and cool on wire racks.

Swiss Cheese Braid

Swiss Cheese Braid

A Recipe from Bake-Off Cook Book from Pillsbury 100 prize winning recipes from the 22nd Bake Off (1971)

About the Recipe

Wow oh wow were these loaves a hit! The beer combined with an abundance of yeast made what sounds like a heavy recipe, in actuality light, fluffy loaves of bread.

A few quick notes on some changes that I made that seemed to work well:

  • I used my KitchenAid mixer to do 90% of the mixing. I used the regular beater for the initial mix of the yeast into the first two cups of flour, than switched to the dough hook on the “Stir” setting while I added the additional flour. Once the dough was fairly set, I did a minute or so by hand to check the elasticity and texture of the dough.
  • I have a new obsession with Everything Bagel seasoning, and I just can’t resist the urge to throw it on a loaf of bread, especially when there are 2 loaves to play with. That said – go with a sprinkle, not a heaping like I did and the loaf won’t pull apart quite so much during the bake.
  • I used Guinness beer, which comes in 11.4 oz. bottles and made up the rest of the liquid volume with water, which worked fine.
  • The only processed cheese I could find at the store was American, sliced, from the deli… which also worked fine, but I can’t help but wonder how a processed Swiss or Velveeta would have worked in this recipe.

For more recipes in the Pillsbury Challenge, click here!

About the book

I hate to say it, but there’s nothing spectacularly interesting about this book. It’s a good book with several recipes that look to be easy to create, but nothing out of the ordinary. It’s almost like the editors were in the process of puzzling about what comes next. And the next book is notable indeed…

About the glassware

I can’t tell you how I ended up with two loaf pans with green patterns on it, but there you are! The Spring Blossom was a gift from my father, and the Meadow Green came from a flea market. They’re wonderful pans, and always come perfectly clean.

The Recipe!


1 can (12 oz.) beer or 1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup warm water
2 T sugar
1 T salt
2 T butter or margarine
1 package (8 oz.) pasteurized process Swiss or American cheese, not natural cheese
5 cups flour
2 packages active dry yeast


Generously grease bottom and sides of two 9×5-inch loaf pans.

In large saucepan, warm beer, water, sugar, salt, butter and cheese. (Cheese does not need to melt completely.) Cool to lukewarm (~220*F).

In large mixer bowl, combine 2 cups flour with yeast; add warm (not hot) cheese mixture. Beat 3 minutes at medium speed. By hand, gradually stir in remaining 3 cups flour to make a fairly stiff dough.

Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Place in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover; let rise in warm place until light and doubled in size, 45-60 minutes.

Punch down dough; divide in half and shape into two 11×5-inch rectangles. Cut each rectangle into 3 long strips, leaving strips joined at one end. Braid; place in prepared pans. Cover; let rise in warm place until light and doubled in size, 45-60 minutes.

Bake at 350* for 40 to 45 minutes until deep golden brown and loaf sounds hollow when lightly tapped. Remove from pan immediately; cool completely.