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Italian Bread: Egg & Raisin Bread (Per La Famiglia Cookbook Giveaway)

I’m a firm believer that aliens exist.

I also happen to hold strong beliefs that we forge, maintain and express connections through our food.

Italian Bread: Egg and Raisin Bread - Per La Famiglia Cookbook Giveaway | She EatsBe it the way we choose to procure our ingredients (local vs, imported, organic vs conventional), who cooks with us in the kitchen, or who we share our meals with – they all mean something. Which is why I’m so careful to harvest as much as I can seasonally from local farmers who practice organic growing methods.

I also make a point to eat as many meals with the people around me that matter. And not just because they bring the wine.

…Though that helps.

Italian Bread: Egg and Raisin Bread - Per La Famiglia Cookbook Giveaway | She EatsFrom farm, to factory, to store, to kitchen, to table, to mouth, to belly, to pooper. Every meal tells a story about how that dish got in front of us. And those stories are cooked up and served to us each and every time we put our forks in our gobs.

And this is why I’m sharing Emily Richard’s new cookbook with you today. In Per La Famiglia: Memories and Recipes of Southern Italian Home Cooking, Emily walks us through the family relationships and recipes she’s nurtured through delicious meals and traditions, passed down from generation to generation.

I aim to do the same thing here on She Eats – it’s as much a tool to store my recipe collection as it is a method to connect with you. That, and make poop jokes.

Italian Bread: Egg and Raisin Bread - Per La Famiglia Cookbook Giveaway | She EatsLike Emily, I grew up in a home where dinner at the table was a nightly – and mandatory – ritual. The one exception being Sundays when Mom and Dad would chow down on pizza in front of the hockey game while my brother and I retreated to our rooms, ‘za in hand, to watch whatever wasn’t hockey. But 6 nights out of 7, dining with family, talking about our days and connecting with each other was the norm.

And now, 20 years or so later, I look back on those evenings fondly.

…My age, however,  is another question entirely. Yikes.

These days, John and I continue the tradition. Albeit we don’t have a kitchen table and are usually perched on the couch with our plates precariously balanced on our laps. But the point is we enjoy a meal together.

We talk.

We connect.

We laugh.

I lose pieces of my dinner to mysterious couch monsters.

Some weeks this is the only time we we get to connect with each other because our schedules are so busy. And it’s always over food. More often than not, Italian food. Not because I’m Italian by heritage like Emily. More like because I love carbs.

Plus you know, wine with every meal.

Yeah. I went there.

Italian Bread: Egg and Raisin Bread - Per La Famiglia Cookbook Giveaway | She EatsRelationships. Food. Traditions. And wine. I was very excited to read Emily’s book and get cooking. 

Straight from the pages – and Emily’s Nonna – (and with permission of the publisher to re-publish here), I have a recipe for Italian bread for you. But not just any Italian bread….

Egg and raisin bread.

Italian Bread: Egg and Raisin Bread - Per La Famiglia Cookbook Giveaway | She EatsThis Italian bread is fragrant, delicious and super simple to make. Even those of us who aren’t the most gifted of bakers can do it. The loaf is slightly reminiscent of holiday time (hence the reason it’s often served at Easter) and reminds me faintly of Panettone with the use of orange zest and dried fruit. It would make one hell of a french toast on Easter Sunday. Or any weekend really. It’s comforting yet light and ridiculously aromatic, making it well suited for a Winter or Spring brunch.

My only criticism of Emily’s recipe is that the timing for kneading the dough wasn’t included nor was it explained how to shape the dough so it looks like the photo in the book. That being said, those things are easy enough to Google. Which I did. And I officially now know how to braid bread.

Mamma what!

And I’ve included those instructions below.

Italian Bread: Egg and Raisin Bread - Per La Famiglia Cookbook Giveaway | She EatsIn addition to the recipe, myself and 14 other bloggers have teamed up to offer a giveaway to celebrate the release of Per La Famiglia with you!

In our hot little hands we have an autographed copy of Emily’s new book AND a a gnocchi board AND a three-piece Microplane Elite Grater/Zester set for the winner, so they have everything they need to start making Emily’s delicious recipes.

….And then invite me over for dinner. I’ll bring the wine.

Because like I said – I write this blog for you. For food. And to connect over it all. That, and as a beacon to the aliens that I can cook.

That’s reason enough to convince them not to take me out when they take over the world, right?

Giveaway after the recipe!

Italian Bread: Egg and Raisin Bread

Yield 4-6 loaves


For the bread:

  • 1 C (250 ml) sugar
  • 1/2 C (125 ml) warm water
  • 1 Tbsp (15 ml) dry active yeast
  • 1 C (250 ml) + 1 Tbsp (15 ml) milk
  • 3 large, pastured eggs
  • 1/2 C (125 ml) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 Tbsp (15 ml) orange zest
  • 1/4 tsp (1 ml) anise extract (optional)
  • 5 C (1.25 L) all-purpose flour + more for dusting
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) salt
  • 1/2 C (125 ml) golden raisins, soaked

For egg wash:

  • 1 large, pastured egg
  • 1 Tbsp (15 ml) milk


  1. In a bowl dissolve 2 tsp (10 ml) of the sugar in warm water. Sprinkle with yeast, cover and let stand for 10 minutes or until frothy. Whisk in milk.
  2. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, remaining sugar, butter, orange zest and anise extract, if using. Whisk into the milk mixture.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together the flour and salt.
  4. Pour yeast mixture over flour mixture, stirring to make a soft, slightly sticky dough. Stir in drained raisins. Scrape dough onto a well floured work surface and knead for about 7-10 minutes to make a soft, smooth dough. Because humidity and elevation effect moisture and flour, add more flour if dough is sticky.
  5. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover and let rise for about 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  6. Punch down dough and divide into 4 or 6 balls. Roll out each ball of dough as desired and place on parchment paper-lined baking sheets or in greased baking pans. Let rise for about 1 hour or until doubled in volume.
  7. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).
  8. Whisk together the egg wash ingredients and brush the tops of the loaves. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes or until golden and brown. Let cool slightly before removing from pans to cool completely on a wire rack.


To soak raisins, simply pour boiling water over the raisins to cover and let stand 10 minutes until ready to use. Drain before using.

To braid dough - replace Step #6: Punch down dough and divide into 4 even pieces. Roll 3 of the pieces into long logs to braid. Pinch the top of the logs together and then braid just like hair - folding one outside piece over the center one and then do the same on the other side. Try to keep this tight as you go. Once you reach the end, pinch the ends together just like at the top and fold under. The 4th piece of dough can be rolled into 1 1/2" balls to make buns. Place on parchment paper-lined baking sheets or in greased baking pans. Let rise for about 1 hour or until doubled in volume.


// Check out the other 14 drool worthy creations by the Per La Famiglia Giveaway bloggers: //


* Contest open to Canadian mailing addresses only and who have reached the age of majority in the province, state or territory in which they reside, but unfortunately is void in Quebec. No purchase necessary to enter. Winner is chosen at random via Rafflecopter. Winner will be contacted via email and given 48 hours to respond. If not, a new winner will be chosen. Winner selected MUST correctly answer a skill-testing mathematical question. 

MANDATORY: Simply leave a comment in the comment section of this post and tell me what family dish or recipe you can’t live without!

BE SURE to click the widget options below for both mandatory and optional entries because you can’t be entered to win if the widget doesn’t know you’ve done it! Your email address is ONLY used to contact you if you’ve won, not for any other purpose, and is never made public. Promise.

Giveaway closes Wednesday, March 30, 2016 @ 11:59pm.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure of Material Connection: Whitecap Books DID provide me a review copy of Emily’s book and Microplane provided us kitchen tools to give to you at no cost. Regardless, I only recommend, giveaway or share products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. All opinions, words and information here are entirely accurate and a reflection of my true experience and were not influenced, in any way, by the above mentioned products or companies. Opinions and views are my own. Because that’s how I roll, yo. I’ve never been one to shut my mouth – I’m not going to start now.

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If you’re into really good food cooked from scratch with fresh ingredients, drinks with a little somethin’ somethin’ and enjoying what you put in your mouth, this book is for you.


Julia Child famously commented, "I enjoy cooking with wine, sometimes I even put it in the food . . . ” Kristy Gardner has taken this idea to the next level in Cooking with Cocktails. Every recipe is touched with alcohol; the result is a punchy visual adventure with roots in Italian and French cuisine that demands enjoying meals with passion, with friends, and with alcohol.


Join the celebration of the very best that life has to offer—good friends, good food, good drink and great stories —with humor, delicious and inventive recipes, and mouth-watering photographs for each and every dish!


Cook. Eat. Imbibe. Live. And repeat.

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  • Vestan
    March 23, 2016 at 8:06 AM

    I love Italian bread and your pictures are making me feel hungry.

  • Catherine @ Happily Ever Cradter
    March 23, 2016 at 8:59 AM

    Now I just want to binge watch X-Files and eat an entire loaf of that bread!!

  • Jennifer
    March 23, 2016 at 10:30 AM

    This post makes my mouth water! I love bread! There are a couple of family recipes that I want to keep forever, though I don’t make them very often. My grandmother made the best Welsh cakes, and I will occasionally pull out the recipe and make a batch, usually for St. David’s Day (March 1). The other recipe is for traditional Christmas figgy pudding; also from my grandmother, and one that we all get together to make each year.

  • bonnie
    March 23, 2016 at 10:36 AM

    That looks amazing, and I have always enjoyed any recipe by Emily Richards

  • Anne
    March 23, 2016 at 11:10 AM

    Banana cake with maple icing!

  • Liliana
    March 23, 2016 at 11:32 AM

    I have this cookbook and successfully made quite a few recipes from it. Your Italian Egg and Raisin bread looks amazing. I am going to make one for Easter as well. Thanks for the tips.

  • Becky
    March 24, 2016 at 5:17 AM

    Growing up, my mother would take leftover spaghetti, toss it with leftover sauce, top with cheese and bake it. She called it ‘family’s favorite dish’ because it was our favorite. I still make it, but it took something like 15 years for my husband to understand what I was making for dinner when I called it that. Something about it wasn’t his family’s favorite, or how dare I declare it ‘our’ family’s favorite….

  • Christina
    March 24, 2016 at 11:19 AM

    I made this last week and I’m in love the the delicate orange flavouring. I used the zest of a mandarin and it was subtle and addictive. I can’t wait to make it again.

  • Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe
    March 26, 2016 at 10:34 AM

    Girl, you know I love carbs! And poop jokes. But seriously, now all I want to do this weekend is make this bread and then make French toast and drink all the wine. xo
    Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe recently published…Per La Famiglia: Balsamic Roasted Pear Wedges with Prosciutto + A Giveaway!My Profile

  • Nancy @ gottagetbaked
    March 27, 2016 at 2:44 PM

    Omg, you have a new fan in me for life because of the poop jokes! I love it! And I love all of your gorgeous photos. I agree – this bread reminded me very much of panettone and I also had to turn to the inter webs to figure out how to braid the dough (thank goodness for youtube how-to videos!). Your braid game is on point.
    Nancy @ gottagetbaked recently published…Hazelnut Chocolate-Filled Cookies for a #PerLaFamiglia Blog Hop and Giveaway @ERiscookingMy Profile

  • Teresa Blackburn
    March 27, 2016 at 3:22 PM

    Love your new photo and congrats on your upcoming book! Love this bread and everything you do…Happy Easter from Nashville!

  • Sara Verk
    March 29, 2016 at 7:49 AM

    Yum! I can’t live without any bread! I love making any kind of bread and will be trying the egg raisin bread posted here xx

  • Suzie Durigon
    March 29, 2016 at 7:49 AM

    Okay Kristy! I totally want to be your bff…seriously!
    You write like I’m right beside you…what a gift you have!
    Now I’m supposed to tell you my favourite dish as a kid, right? Sounds crazy, but like Emily, I grew up in an Italian house with my parents, siblings and grandparents so my most memorable dish was what I ate for breakfast almost every day: yesterday’s stale panini ripped I nto pieces, soaked with hot milk, a shot of espresso, a sprinkling of sugar and served with a side of zabaglione (raw egg yolk beaten with sugar and a shot of Marsala wine). Yes, I ate this when I was 4 years old…white bread, caffeine, white sugar, raw eggs and alcohol…breakfast of champions!
    Love the post…thanks for being the spectacular “you” that you are!!💕

  • Michele @ Bacon Fatte
    March 29, 2016 at 8:35 AM

    “…we forge, maintain and express connections through our food.”
    “I also make a point to eat as many meals with the people around me that matter.”
    “Every meal tells a story…”

    So much YES to all of this (and that amazingly gorgeous bread!) Just a few of the reasons that I adore you and all the beautiful things you create!

  • Keith @ How's it Lookin?
    April 25, 2016 at 9:52 AM

    I gotta try this. No bread beats italian bread, thanks a lot
    Keith @ How’s it Lookin? recently published…Chocolate Mousse Tart RecipeMy Profile

  • Supriya Kuttty
    October 14, 2017 at 4:41 AM

    I love Italian bread too much. Amazing pictures you took, Your pictures are making me feel hungry very badly. 😛 I have tried this at home. Thanks for sharing this amazing recipe with all of us. Best Wishes and regards.