Sweet raisin buns flavored with cinnamon.

Feb 10, 2015

Raisin buns (σταφιδόψωμα), are for the Greeks what croissants are for the French: a sweet doughy breakfast delicacy. Every morning you can find them on sale inlocal bakeries next to bread rings and cakes.
 Raisins and sultanas are great sources of energy for the human body, exactly what you need with a cup of tea or coffee to start your day. For many centuries the small dark currants and the larger blond sultanas have been an essential part of the agricultural economy of the Peloponnese. At the end of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century, in particular, the English would import raisins in exchange for salted cod from the North Sea. As a result of this exchange,salted cod became, and still is,a special favorite at Peloponnesian tables.
 When baking bread for the family, my grandmother would often save a piece of her sour dough to make a small loaf of raisin bread, or feta bread. The contradiction of the slightly sour taste of the bread with the sweetness of the raisins is something I always recall from her cooking. Although my grandmother didn’t use any flavoring, these buns today are usually flavored with cinnamon and can be made either with whole-wheat flour or a gluten free mix.

Raisin buns
Makes 12 buns

120gr milk
30gr butter
80gr granulated sugar
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp baking soda

5gr dried yeast
120gr lukewarm water
450gr all purpose flour
½ tsp cinnamon (optional)
150gr raisins and/or sultanas

In a bowl add the lukewarm water, yeast and five tablespoons of the flour. Mix to combine, cover with a kitchen towel, and let stand in a warm spot until the yeast activates (about 20min).
Meanwhile, in a saucepan over medium heat add the milk and bring it to a boil. Remove from the heat, add sugar and salt and mix to dissolve. Add the butter and baking soda and let it stand until the temperature of the mixture drops to being just warm.
Add the warm milk mixture to the yeast mixture and mix to combine. Gradually pour the rest of the flour, cinnamon (if used) and the raisins, mixing with your hands to form an elastic but firm dough. (This can also be done with a stand mixer if you prefer.) Cover the bowl again and let it rest in a warm spot until the dough doubles in size.
As soon as the dough has risen, transfer it onto a clean working surface and divide it into four pieces. Cut each piece into three smaller pieces and roll it in your palms to form round buns. Arrange the 12 buns on a baking pan lined with baking paper leaving some space between the buns.For the last time cover the buns and let them stand in a warm spot until doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 180 C. Brush each bun with milk and bake for 20min or until golden brown. Transfer the baked buns onto a rack to cool and then you can store them in a cookie tin for a few days if you wish, but they are always better if consumed right away!


  1. I love sweet buns - especially ones that look delicious as these raisin ones. These are perfect!

    1. Thank you Thalia, you should try them soon.

  2. I love it!
    Here in my hometown in the Bavarian Forrest we have a similar recipe, it called “Zitschgerl” (I think, out of our region nobody knows this name…).
    The dough (the same like yours) is without cinnamon and we form it in a size for two bites. During baking the buns we make syrup from water and sugar and fill a small bowl with a mix of sugar and cinnamon. We dip the Zitschgerl shortly into the warm syrup (not soak) and give it into the bowl with sugar and cinnamon. They should be covered with the mix all around. Shaking needless sugar-cinnamon-mix off and eating… (Or storing in a cookie tin). :-D

    1. Hi Andrea!!! it seems that there at the Bavarian Forest, you people know how to make things taste even better. I can visualize the look of those little bites and can't wait to try the full version this weekend; there is always some syrup around ;)

    2. Hi Panos! I'm sorry, I saw your reply still now!
      And thanks for the compliment. It's not better, only another (sweet and sticky) way to serve (especially if you forgot the cinnamon in the dough - I'm passionate about forget something...).
      Did you try it? Do you like the "bavarian-forest-version"? I think, I do both recipes on friday week. :D

    3. Hi Andrea! Yes I did try it and of course it was delicious. Adding more sugar can only make it more addictive, and more like a sticky ban. Make more with the syrup version to be on the safe side :)

  3. These look so adorable! I am really looking forward to trying these! Pinned :)

    1. Hi Tina, thank you; let me know when you make them.