Enjoy the Heavenly Taste of Sweet Raisin Bread

Are you ready to take your baking skills to the next level? Then I have just the recipe for you: Pagnotta, a delicious sweet raisin bread that will transport you to the streets of Italy with every bite.

As an avid baker, I’m always on the lookout for new and exciting recipes to try out in my kitchen. But there’s just something about Pagnotta that keeps me coming back to it time and time again.

Perhaps it’s the way the sweet raisins mix perfectly with the bread dough, or maybe it’s the subtle hints of orange and lemon rind that add an extra kick of flavor to each slice. Whatever it is, one thing is for certain: this bread is a true masterpiece.

Over the years, I’ve experimented with different variations of Pagnotta, adding my own personal touches and tweaks to create a version that suits my tastes perfectly. And now I’m excited to share this recipe with you.

With just a few simple ingredients and a bit of practice, you’ll be able to make your own homemade Pagnotta in no time. So why not give it a try? Who knows, you may just discover your new favorite bread recipe.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Pagnotta (Sweet Raisin Bread)
Pagnotta (Sweet Raisin Bread)

Ladies and gentlemen, if you’re looking for a sweet and savory treat that is sure to be the highlight of your day, then look no further than the Pagnotta sweet raisin bread recipe! This bread is a masterpiece of flavors that come together to create an irresistible aroma that will have you drooling before it even hits the oven.

Now I know what you’re thinking – why bother making bread when you can buy it at any grocery store? But let me tell you, there’s nothing quite like the feeling of mixing and kneading the dough, watching it rise before your very eyes, and then biting into a warm slice fresh out of the oven. And with this bread, every bite is pure bliss.

The combination of juicy raisins soaked in orange and lemon rind, mixed with sugar and eggs, creates a perfect balance of flavors that will have you coming back for more. And the addition of olive oil adds a rich depth to the taste that sets this bread apart from any other sweet raisin bread recipe out there.

But don’t just take my word for it – try this recipe for yourself and see why it has become a staple in kitchens all around the world. The process may seem daunting at first, but with careful attention to the measurements and instructions, even a novice baker can create a masterpiece that will impress even the most discerning taste buds.

So what are you waiting for? Get your apron on, gather your ingredients and start baking! Your taste buds (and your loved ones) will thank you for it.

Ingredient List

 Sink your teeth into this heavenly Pagnotta Bread!
Sink your teeth into this heavenly Pagnotta Bread!

Before we dive into the Pagnotta (Sweet Raisin Bread) recipe, let’s take a closer look at the ingredients and quantities needed to make this scrumptious bread loaf.


  • 1 packet active dry yeast


  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water


  • 3 large eggs, room temperature

Olive oil

  • 1/4 cup olive oil


  • 1/4 cup sugar


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour


  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  • 1 cup raisins

Orange & Lemon Zest

  • The zest of one orange and one lemon

Note that you can substitute the water for sweet potato puree or use a combination of both. Additionally, if you prefer more sweetness to your bread, you can add more sugar to taste.

Having these ingredients ready will make the process run smoothly, so make sure you have them all at hand before starting.

The Recipe How-To

 Raisin lovers get ready, this bread is made especially for you!
Raisin lovers get ready, this bread is made especially for you!

Now, it’s time to get our hands dirty and dive into making this delicious Pagnotta Sweet Raisin Bread.

Step 1: Activate the Yeast

In a bowl, mix 1 cup of lukewarm water with a package of active dry yeast until it dissolves. Let it sit for five minutes.

Step 2: Mix the Ingredients

In a large mixing bowl, add 6 large eggs (room temperature), 1 cup of sugar, and 2 tablespoons of finely grated orange and lemon zest. Whisk until light and fluffy. Add in 1/2 cup of olive oil and mix well. To the mixture, add half of the flour (about 3 cups) along with a pinch of salt. Mix well by hand or using a mixer.

Step 3: Knead the Dough

Add in another 3 cups of flour and knead the dough for 10-15 minutes. You can do this with your hands or use a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment.

Step 4: Add in Raisins

Once done kneading, add in 1 pound of raisins and fold them into the dough until they are distributed evenly.

Step 5: Let the Dough Rise

Oil your mixing bowl lightly, place the dough in it, cover it with plastic wrap and let it rest in a warm and draft-free area for about 2 hours or until doubled in size.

Step 6: Shape the Loaf

Once the dough has risen, punch it down to remove any excess air pockets. Divide it into two equal parts and form each one into an oblong shape about 9×5 inches each. Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or dusted with flour.

Step 7: Proofing

Cover the loaves with plastic wrap or cloth and let them rise for another hour.

Step 8: Preheat the Oven

Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).

Step 9: Bake Time!

Put bread loaves on a baking pan that has been lined with parchment paper, bake for around an hour or until golden brown.

Voila! Your very own home-baked Pagnotta Sweet Raisin Bread is ready to be enjoyed!

Remember that practice makes perfect when it comes to baking bread. Follow these steps carefully and you’ll end up with wonderfully soft, fluffy, and sweet-scented bread that is perfect for breakfast or as a snack at any time of day!

Substitutions and Variations

 One bite and you'll feel like you're in a cozy Italian bakery.
One bite and you’ll feel like you’re in a cozy Italian bakery.

Now, let’s talk about some substitutions and variations to make this Pagnotta Sweet Raisin Bread recipe your own. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different ingredients and techniques! The possibilities are nearly endless.

One substitution you can try is swapping out the raisins for a different dried fruit, such as chopped dates or figs. You could also add in other mix-ins, like chopped nuts or chocolate chips, for an extra burst of flavor and texture.

If you’re looking for a savory twist on this sweet bread, try reducing the sugar in the recipe and adding in herbs and spices like rosemary, thyme, and garlic powder. This variation would pair well with a variety of cheeses and charcuterie.

For a healthier version of this bread, you can substitute some or all of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour. You can also experiment with replacing some of the sugar with honey or coconut sugar for a more natural sweetness.

To take this recipe up a notch, try baking it in a Dutch oven for added crustiness and chewiness. Or, create a cinnamon swirl by rolling the dough out into a rectangle, spreading melted butter on top, sprinkling cinnamon sugar on evenly, rolling it up tightly like a jellyroll, then placing it seam-side down into your pan before baking.

Finally, for those who love experimenting with fermentation techniques – why not attempt making this sweet raisin bread using a sourdough starter dough? This will add an extra depth of flavor to an already scrumptious bread loaf. Just remember to adjust your recipe accordingly!

The choice is yours – whether you prefer sweet or savory, traditional or creative – there are plenty of ways to adapt this Pagnotta Sweet Raisin Bread recipe to fit your personal tastes and preferences.

Serving and Pairing

 The perfect balance of sweetness and hints of cinnamon in every slice.
The perfect balance of sweetness and hints of cinnamon in every slice.

When it comes to serving and pairing Pagnotta, the possibilities are endless. This delectable bread is perfect for a variety of occasions – whether you’re enjoying it as a simple snack or serving it at a fancy dinner party.

If you’re looking for a sweet twist, you can spread some honey or jam on top of the bread. The sugary combo of raisins and honey or jam is sure to give your taste buds the ultimate pleasure. A sprinkle of cinnamon on top of a slice will also add an extra layer of flavor.

For those who prefer savory choices, try pairing Pagnotta with fresh cheese, prosciutto, or even avocado. Tangy, salty cheeses like feta or goat cheese would complement the sweetness of the raisins quite well, while ripe and creamy avocado will provide a cool balance.

Pagnotta’s subtle sweetness also makes it an excellent accompaniment to richly flavored meats, like lamb, beef or pork. The bread is especially amazing when toasted and served alongside a hearty stew, soup or chili.

What’s more? Pagnotta can be used to make delicious French toast or bread pudding — two options that are sure to get mouths watering.

Whether you choose to serve it sweet or savory, Pagnotta is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 The aroma of freshly baked bread will fill your home.
The aroma of freshly baked bread will fill your home.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. How in the world can I make this delicious pagnotta sweet raisin bread ahead of time without compromising its flavor and texture? Don’t worry, my dear. This recipe is perfect for making ahead of time as you can easily store and reheat it without losing that sweet, savory taste.

To make it ahead of time, simply bake the bread as directed then let it cool at room temperature. Once completely cool, wrap the loaf tightly with plastic wrap and store it in an airtight container. It can be stored like this for up to three days or you may also choose to freeze it for up to 1 month.

When reheating your bread, there are a number of options that depend on your preference. If you want your bread to stay crispy on the outside, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and warm the bread for about 10 minutes before serving. For those who prefer their bread slightly more moist, place it in a microwave-safe plate and cover with a damp paper towel before microwaving at high heat for 15-20 seconds.

Storing this sweet raisin bread is almost as simple as making it. Just remember to store it in an airtight container at room temperature avoiding exposure to heat and moisture which may cause mold formation. You can also store the bread in the refrigerator if desired, just remember that this may cause it to dry out a little.

Whether you’re running around all day or have unexpected guests pop by, there’s nothing better than having a loaf of this delectable pagnotta sweet raisin bread on hand! So go ahead and prepare this recipe now – your future self will thank you later!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Your taste buds will dance with the combination of plump raisins and fluffy dough.
Your taste buds will dance with the combination of plump raisins and fluffy dough.

Now, when it comes to making bread, there are a lot of things that can go wrong. But with these tips, you’ll be able to make the perfect Pagnotta sweet raisin bread every time.

First and foremost, use room temperature eggs. It’s tempting to just pull them straight from the fridge and get started, but using eggs at room temperature will help them mix better with the other ingredients and give your bread a better texture.

Make sure your water is around 110-115 degrees Fahrenheit before adding the yeast. If the water is too cold, the yeast won’t activate; if it’s too hot, it can kill the yeast. And be sure to let the yeast proof for at least 5 minutes before adding it to the other ingredients – this will ensure that it’s active and ready to do its job.

Another key tip is to not overwork your dough. Once all of the ingredients are combined, only knead the dough until it comes together as a smooth ball. Over-kneading can result in tough bread.

Don’t be afraid to let your dough rise longer than called for in the recipe. A long rise time allows for more flavor development and gives your bread a better texture. If you’re short on time, you can also place your bread dough in a warm oven (turned off) to speed up the rising process.

If you’re having trouble getting your bread to rise, try placing it in a slightly warmer area. Cold or drafty rooms can hinder this process.

And lastly, don’t skip out on letting your bread cool completely before slicing into it. Slicing into warm bread can cause it to lose moisture and become dry. Allow it to cool for at least 20-30 minutes before enjoying.

By following these tips, you’ll achieve bakery-worthy results every time you bake Pagnotta sweet raisin bread.


Now that we have covered all the essential details about making a delicious Pagnotta (Sweet Raisin Bread), let’s address some frequently asked questions that may arise during the preparation process. Answered by a seasoned baker’s tips, this section covers everything from suitable substitutions to troubleshooting common problems, so you can achieve perfect results every time you bake. Pay attention to these responses to get your questions answered before beginning the baking process. So let’s dive into the FAQ section and clear up any doubts!

What is Portuguese sweet bread made of?

This recipe involves making a delectable bread known as Portuguese sweet bread or “pão doce” in Portuguese. The bread is a light and subtly sweet loaf or rolls made with ingredients such as milk, sugar, yeast, eggs, flour, and optionally, lemon peel. The end result is a deliciously textured bread that will impress even the most discerning palates.

Where is Pagnotta bread from?

This Italian rustic bread is both easy to make and scrumptiously irresistible. Traditionally hailing from Central Italy, it can be found baked in kitchens across the country due to its popularity. With a soft, spongy interior surrounded by a rich, deep brown crust, one bite is all it takes to be won over.

What ingredient makes bread fluffy?

The creation of air pockets that give bread its light and fluffy texture is a result of carbon dioxide. Yeast growth is responsible for producing this gas, and the more the yeast grows, the more gas is produced, making the dough lighter and more voluminous.

Is quick bread the same as sweet bread?

Baked goods that are free of yeast as a leavening agent are referred to as “quick breads”. These breads typically use chemical leaveners like baking powder or baking soda, and can be either sweet or savory. It’s worth noting that the majority of sweet breads (as discussed in section 8) are also categorized as quick breads.

Bottom Line

So there you have it – my ultimate pagnotta (sweet raisin bread) recipe! I hope this article has convinced you to give this bread a try. Don’t let the thought of baking bread intimidate you, because with the right ingredients, measurements, and tips, anyone can master the art of baking.

The beauty of this recipe is that it not only satisfies your sweet tooth but also offers versatility in the way it can be served and paired with different foods. From a slice of raisin toast for breakfast to a hearty sandwich bread for lunch, and even as dessert with a dollop of whipped cream and fresh berries – the options are endless!

I encourage you to experiment with different variations of this recipe, using ingredients that appeal to your taste buds. With the comforting aroma of cinnamon and sweetness from the raisins, this bread will surely be a crowd-pleaser at any gathering.

In conclusion, I urge you to try this pagnotta (sweet raisin bread) recipe and bake your way to becoming a master baker. Nothing compares to the satisfaction of pulling a freshly baked loaf out from the oven and sinking your teeth into its warm, tender crumb. So what are you waiting for? Get your apron on, dust off your mixing bowls, and let’s get baking!

Pagnotta (Sweet Raisin Bread)

Pagnotta (Sweet Raisin Bread) Recipe

A spiced Italian raisin bread found on the Colavita website. Bread recipes from around the world are so fascinating 🙂
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: < 4 Hours, Breads, Easy, European, Fruit, Yeast
Prep Time: 3 hours
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 loaves
Calories: 1503.8kcal


  • 4 (1/4 ounce) packages yeast
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 7 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups raisins
  • 4 tablespoons colavita olive oil
  • 6 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 ounce anise flavoring
  • 1 lemon, rind of, grated
  • 1 orange, rind of, grated
  • 1 dash salt


  • In a large bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in lukewarm water. When yeast has foamed, add the eggs and sugar that have been beaten together. Add anise, grated rinds, and salt. In a large pot, mix flour and raisins. Add yeast mixture to flour, mixing and blending to form a dough. Rub olive oil over dough and set covered out of draft to rise. In about 2 hours, punch dough down and let rise again. (Oil your hands before handling dough so it doesn't stick). On second rise, divide dough into four pieces. Shape into loaved and place into 4 oiled bread loaf pans. Let rise to double in bulk. Bake at 350 degrees 10 minutes. Loosely cover pans with foil, reduce heat to 300 degrees and bake 20 minutes longer.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 2016g | Calories: 1503.8kcal | Carbohydrates: 289.3g | Protein: 36.4g | Fat: 23.7g | Saturated Fat: 4.6g | Cholesterol: 317.2mg | Sodium: 159.1mg | Fiber: 9.4g | Sugar: 109.3g

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