EASTER BREAD

April 2, 2016

Easter – in my childhood that meant standing up early and sitting in a freezing church, holding a basket full of weird pieces of animal [like cows tong – yuck] and eggs. Not a big fan of eggs and a vegetarian at that time this was not exactly my idea of a good holiday.
But than we got to go home with my granny and had easter brunch. Freshly ground horse radish, water cress, delicious wild garlic spreads and – ‘eierpecken’! That was always the most fun. Everybody would choose one of the hard boiled eggs and than one by one you would start smashing the tips of the eggs together. One of the two eggs would break and the owner of the unbroken egg would win. [No idea if that meant that you get lucky or anything] I mainly wanted to win because our mum would make us eat all the eggs that we smashed.
And yes – the most important thing missing in my list above is of course the sweet easter bread! I just recently learned that putting a hard boiled egg in the center of your sweet bread seems to be a central European thing and that people from abroad might find that weird :D I think it’s just to differentiate it from our all-saints day bread [because I think it’s actually exactly the same recipe – just for a different holiday]. Wo cares – it tastes delicious!

EASTER BREAD

  • 1 package dry yeast
  • 1.25 cups (296ml) milk [room temperature]
  • pinch salt
  • ⅓ cup (75g) butter softened 
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup (100g) sugar
  • 3.5 cups (450g) flour [probably more]
  • 1 egg [beaten with 1 teaspoon water]
  • 6 dyed easter eggs
  • sprinkles [or rock sugar]

_ in a large bowl combine yeast, warm milk, salt, butter, eggs and sugar
_ add half the flour and beat until smooth
_ slowly add more flour until it forms a non sticky dough
_ knead until you get a smooth dough
_ place in a greased bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size [about 1 hour]

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_ punch dough down
_ divide into 12 pieces

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_ roll each piece to form a 1 inch thick rope about 14 inch long
_ take two pieces and twist to form a ‘braid’

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_ pinch the ends, loop into a circle and pinch it closed

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_ place on a baking sheet

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_ cover and let rise until double [about 1 hour again]
_ preheat oven to 180°C [350°F]
_ brush each braid with beaten egg wash

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_ put on sprinkles [or rock sugar]
_ place an Easter egg in the center of each ring

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_ bake until golden brown [about 20 to 25 minutes]

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