Gosh, I’ve been on the bread wagon lately, feeling a whole lot of craving for sweet dough. And have I got an easy, do-able, delicious sweet bread loaf recipe for you! Oooh, and I promise this won’t take up too much time. I absolutely think that baking bread should always be fun, easy, and hopefully, won’t have you feeling like you’ve spent an entire day in the kitchen (though, I have to admit that I do enjoy whiling away hours in mine).
I’ve just spent the past week baking these wonderfully old-fashioned looking, sweet bread loaves, infused with pandan and coconut flavours, and speckled with sweet raisins. Sliced, toasted, and slathered with goobs of butter and kaya, pandan raisin bread is my idea of a none-too-sweet, none-too-indulgent afternoon tea (in spite of what I just said about the butter).
This bread bake happened on a whim, when I was thinking of ways to use up my leftover pandan juice and coconut milk (from when I made fresh Nonya kaya earlier in the week), which I didn’t want to go to waste. And this pandan raisin bread recipe was just perfect. It turned out a tender loaf so delicious, that hubby has been raving about how it’s the best bread he’s ever eaten so far, and that coming from a man who loves his bread and knows his food, just speaks volumes about this recipe.
But wait, that’s not all! This pandan raisin bread is made just a little more special, with a crust (exterior) that’s generously sprinkled with a lightly sweet and buttery crumble topping, baked to golden crispness, and a crumb (interior) that’s soft and moist. Let’s not forget too, that gorgeous pandan green hue- it will surely perk you up and make you feel so gratified. And oh, have I mentioned how your kids are going to love this? Let’s face it, kids will probably just about love, and flock to any food with colour, but at least, you’ll feel better about them (and yourself) eating on the healthier side of the food spectrum.
I’ve made an all-natural version of this bread, omitting the use of artificial green colouring, and you’re perfectly welcome to do that as well. But I’ve had to re-think that, as the bread looked a little grungy, and as much as I’d hate to say this, even almost fungal-looking in patches, as the amount of freshly squeezed pandan juice used was just not enough to tinge the crumb to a uniform light green hue. So, I opted to add just a trickle of pandan paste, to infuse it with a more vivid colour, as well as to strengthen the pandan flavour. After all, we just can’t seem to resist food that looks yeee-uum, right?
Pandan Lovers! If you want the perfect accompaniment to this pandan raisin bread, try making your very own home-made Nonya kaya (coconut jam) spread (pictured below). Kaya is a rich, creamy custard spread prepared with eggs and coconut milk, flavoured with pandan juice, and sweetened with sugar.
Also, the love doesn’t stop there! You can’t afford to miss this recipe for a true-blue Asian cake classic – Pandan Chiffon Cake (pictured above). Enjoy this rich, moist, cotton-soft light and fluffy pandan and coconut-flavoured chiffon cake.
Trust Chef Alex Goh to come up with yet another trustworthy bread recipe that we can make with ease and confidence. I did, however, take the easy way out of the tedious task of measuring out 15 g portions of dough – to preserve my sanity in the midst of a hot afternoon in the kitchen, I simply eye-balled, cut (roughly 1-inch blobs of dough), and moulded these into balls. When placing these into your loaf tin, fill the base with a loosely packed layer of dough balls (don’t worry about the gaps in between, the balls will expand in volume to fill those in-between spaces). Then pile the rest on top, working one layer at a time, and try to end up with a level top layer.
And then watch the magic happen in your oven, as that loaf bakes and crusts to golden brown!