Bunten Stuten (Raisin Bread)
(On the left: glace cherries and almond slivers right: glace cherries and candied ginger)
Bunten Stuten (Raisin Bread)
- 3½ cups (525g) Plain (All purpose) flour
- 4½ tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 Tbsp (14g) melted butter unsalted
- 1½ cups milk
- 1 lemon zest of
The mix ins
- ½ cup heaped (200g) glace cherries cut down smaller – at least quartered – think "raisin sized"
- 1 cup (180g) candied ginger use the smallest pieces from the package or cut the larger pieces down.
- Sift dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar) reserving tablespoon or two of flour for later (if using sticky mix-ins like glace cherries).
- Add milk, egg, melted butter, and lemon zest beating thoroughly (this can be done by hand, no need for a mixer) – don't aim for silky smooth, this is a sticky heavy dough.
- Pour about 1/3rd of the batter into a 2lb loaf tin. Eyeball this, just enough to put a shallow layer down in the baking tin. This prevents the mix-ins hitting the bottom of the pan.
- Preheat oven to 350F/180C/160C Fan.
- Add the reserved flour to the glace cherries, toss to coat, this will help keep them from sticking together.
- Mix the cherries and ginger pieces into the remaining batter and pour this into your loaf tin on top of the plain batter and let rest for 20 minutes.
- Bake for 1 hour, or until done per the tooth pick test, it should be a rich medium brown. I am superstitious, and rotate the loaves every now again, I recommend you refrain until the 30 minute mark, and/or do so carefully, I tapped one of my loaves at the 15 minute mark, and think that's why it came out lopsided.
- Remove from oven and let cool in the loaf tin for 10 minutes before removing to cool on a rack.
- Serve toasted with butter.
- For the original version, sub the mix-ins for 1½ cups of raisins (golden or regular), currants, candied citron, mixed peel, or fruitcake mixture (my mom points out – it’s comes in small dice ready to go) or a blend of these.
- If like me, you rotate your foodstuffs while baking, do so very gingerly here, and hold off til the 30 minute mark I think. I rotated at 15, 30, and then every 10 minutes until done because I was doing 2 1lb loaves and wasn’t sure of the baking time. I bumped one of them while turning it at the 15 minute mark and believe that’s why it came out with a higher rise on one end than the other.
- I feel justified in doing these rotations, at one point I saw the loaves were very clearly browning unevenly. no regrets.
- I made two 1lb loaves because I wanted cherries and candied ginger, and knew my daughter would find that “too spicy”, so made her’s cherries and almond slivers. To do this:
- Adjust mix-in amounts to-scale. (In this case – same amount of cherries, half by volume (½ cup) of candied ginger, and ½ cup almond slices).
- Split the batter into 2 bowls before pouring the first layer into the loaf tins (I weighed the empty bowl before starting and did some math, it came to about 590g per bowl). Once split and the thin layer of plain batter is poured, move on to mixing in the fruit/nuts and toping off the tins – continue from there.
- Consider holding the lemon zest for after splitting the dough, and putting 1 tsp almond extract in the almonds and cherries batter, and zest in the ginger batter (keep the same amount of zest, won’t hurt, if you’re not mixing in candied citron or citrus peel, the lemon flavour is subtle so it’ll just kick it up a little).
- baking time seems unaffected, but keep an eye on it.
- If you’re doing almonds and cherries, try taking out the lemon zest and subbing in almond extract – start with 1-2 tsp, the almond flavour from the slices alone is lost as written above.
- The flour may or may not prevent the mix-ins from hitting the bottom of the cake, I only do it if they’re sticky to help make sure they don’t clump up too much in the batter, the bit of plain batter in the baking tin before adding the mix ins has never failed me.
This is my great grandmother’s recipe, but I’ve changed the fruits mixed in a little, but not so much as to change it’s character.
Bunten Stuten is a sweetened white bread with raisins from Northern Germany. Bunten means “colourful” so I’m guessing fruitcake type mix-ins are the norm here. A quick google reveals that it’s typically a yeast bread, though it’s not in this family recipe.
I don’t know if it’s seasonal in Germany, but this is a Christmas breakfast tradition for my family. Growing up, I wasn’t a fan, and would eat cereal before everyone woke up and nibble on my slice. The flavours were too strong for me, especially when candied citrus peel was involved, also, it had raisins which I am ok with on their own, but I don’t care for them in baked goods.
As is the case with these things, as I grew up, Christmases with out it, just weren’t Christmas, and now I’ve had 2 in a row with out it, thanks to COVID and our Christmas in the US/UK rotation. So, that was the push I needed to bake it for the first time myself.
It’s not too sweet, and it’s not cake, and so this can be a snack time treat, accompaniment to a cup of tea, or breakfast, which will be handy since lately little miss is turning up her nose to both porridge (oatmeal) and oh-ies (cheerios).
Now that I’m the mom, (in this house anyways) I made it with my favourite flavours, banished are the raisins (sorry to my German friends and family!) – and I made a subtler flavoured one for our daughter who’s going through a “that’s spicy” thing. Her review? “That’s nice!”