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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.


Recipe Summary test

40 mins
30 mins
3 hrs 30 mins
3 hrs 100 mins
4 round loaves


Original recipe yields 16 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • 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.

  • Mix yeast, 1 tablespoon honey, and warm water together in a large bowl; let stand until bubbly, about 10 minutes.

  • Combine 2 cups bread flour, 2 cups whole wheat flour, rye flour, powdered milk, vital wheat gluten, and salt in a bowl.

  • Stir liquefied fruit mixture into the yeast mixture. Add the flour mixture. Stir until combined and a dough is formed, 6 to 8 minutes.

  • 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.

  • Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface; allow to rest for 10 minutes.

  • Knead until dough is smooth and elastic. Dust with as little additional flour as possible; dough should be tacky, not dry.

  • Turn dough into an oiled bowl and cover with a loose cloth. Allow to rise until doubled in volume, about 1 1/2 hours.

  • 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.

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

  • 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.

  • 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

354 calories; protein 9.7g; carbohydrates 60.8g; fat 8.9g; cholesterol 3.9mg; sodium 380.7mg. Full Nutrition