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Nana's Prairie Bread

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"This semi-dark bread is delicious any time of year, but it's perfect for autumn and Thanksgiving. While sturdy enough for sandwiches, it is wonderfully soft and moist for a dinner bread. Nobody will ever guess the secret ingredients of raisins and dried cherries."
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4 h 40 m servings 354
Original recipe yields 16 servings (4 round loaves)


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  1. Combine boiling water, raisins, cherries, 1/4 cup honey, and dark brown sugar in a blender. Let stand until raisins and cherries have plumped up and liquid has cooled, about 10 minutes. Puree until liquefied.
  2. Mix yeast, 1 tablespoon honey, and warm water together in a large bowl; let stand until bubbly, about 10 minutes.
  3. Combine 2 cups bread flour, 2 cups whole wheat flour, rye flour, powdered milk, vital wheat gluten, and salt in a bowl.
  4. Stir liquefied fruit mixture into the yeast mixture. Add the flour mixture. Stir until combined and a dough is formed, 6 to 8 minutes.
  5. Mix oil into the dough. Add the remaining 1 cup whole wheat flour. Mix in the remaining 1 cup bread flour 1/4 cup at a time; dough should pull away from the sides of the bowl but still be sticky.
  6. Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface; allow to rest for 10 minutes.
  7. Knead until dough is smooth and elastic. Dust with as little additional flour as possible; dough should be tacky, not dry.
  8. Turn dough into an oiled bowl and cover with a loose cloth. Allow to rise until doubled in volume, about 1 1/2 hours.
  9. Turn dough onto a work surface and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Divide dough into 4 equal pieces and shape into rounds. Place on a baking sheet. Score the top of each loaf with a sharp knife. Cover and allow to rise again until doubled, about 1 hour.
  10. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  11. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Bake until internal temperature reaches 180 degrees F (82 degrees C), 20 to 25 minutes more.
  12. Cool loaves on racks for at least 20 minutes before slicing.


  • Cook's Notes:
  • After the first rise and shaping the dough may be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Cover dough with plastic wrap that has been lightly sprayed with cooking spray.
  • If you don't have dried cherries just use raisins.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 354 calories; 8.9 60.8 9.7 4 381 Full nutrition

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