Sweet coffee bread

    Makes 1 large loaf

    Not quite a coffee cake, but a delicious, sweet bread to have with tea or coffee.


    • 1 package (1 Tbs.) dry yeast
    • ½ cup lukewarm water
    • 6 Tbs. sugar
    • 3 cups white flour
    • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
    • 1 tsp. salt
    • 1 cup raisins
    • 3 whole eggs
    • 2 egg yolks
    • ⅓ cup milk
    • ½ cup soft butter


    • 1½ cups pot cheese or cottage cheese
    • 6 Tbs. sugar
    • 2 egg yolks
    • 2 tsp. finely grated, fresh lemon rind
    • 3 Tbs. flour
    • melted butter
    • confectioners’ sugar

    1. Dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm water, add 2 tablespoons of the sugar and ¾ cup of the white flour, and stir well. Put this sponge aside in a warm place for ½ hour, or until it begins to puff and bubble.
    2. In a large mixing bowl, sift together 2 cups of the white flour, the whole wheat flour, the remaining sugar, and the salt. Add the raisins. In another bowl, beat together the eggs, egg yolks, and milk. Stir this mixture into the dry ingredients, along with the yeast sponge, and then begin working in the soft butter.
    3. When all the butter has been incorporated, beat the dough vigorously with a wooden spoon, slapping it up against the sides of the bowl, until it becomes glossy and starts to blister. It should come away from the sides of the bowl pretty easily at this point.
    4. Cover the bowl with a towel and put it in a warm, draft-free place for about 1½ hours, or until the dough has doubled in size. Punch the dough down and turn it out onto a well-floured board. Sprinkle the dough with the remainder of the white flour and knead it gently a few times, just until it is smooth enough to handle.
    5. Sieve the cheese by forcing it through a strainer to make it smooth, or spin it in a food processor.
    6. Make the filling by combining the sieved cheese, sugar, egg yolks, lemon rind, and flour. Stir well until the mixture is completely blended and free from lumps. It should be thick enough to hold a shape.
    7. On a floured board, roll the dough out into a rectangle about 20 inches long and 12 inches wide. Spread the cheese filling over it, leaving a 2-inch border at the ends and along one side, and a 3- to 4-inch border along the other side.
    8. Roll the dough up lengthwise over the filling, toward the side with the wide border. When it is almost completely rolled up, pull up the wide-bordered edge and stretch it slightly over the top of the roll. Moisten the edge with a bit of water and pinch the seams together securely. Turn the ends up and pinch them as well.
    9. Turn the roll over carefully so that the seam is on the bottom. Transfer it carefully to a buttered baking sheet and shape it into a circle or a nearly closed horseshoe. Cover it with a tea towel and set it aside in a warm place to rise for about 45 minutes, or until it has nearly doubled in size. Brush the top with melted butter and bake it in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Check it once, about 20 minutes before it is done, and if the top is getting very dark, cover it with a loose sheet of aluminum foil.
    10. Allow the bread to cool, and dust the top with confectioners’ sugar.