Easter Sunday marks the end of lent and time of fasting. Many regions in Europe had the tradition of baking Easter bread and taking those breads to church to be blessed on Easter Sunday.
After the return from Mess they would be eaten to break the Fast and to start the celebration of “Christ risen”.
Now many of these old Traditions have been forgotten though the Easter bread lives on.
I have seen so many different forms of sweet Easter bread though they all start with a basic rich yeast dough. Some have nuts and dried fruits and many are filled with hard boiled colorful eggs either prior or after baking.
A picture of a rabbit to either the eggs or the bread was sometimes added which some say explains the story or the egg laying Easter bunny. So many stories are weaved around the history of the Easter bunny but it was the first time I heard that one.
Wishing you All a blessed Good Friday.
2.25 tsp yeast or 40g cake yeast
pinch of salt
(egg yolk, butter, almonds and sugar depending on how you want to top it)
Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl (if you are using fresh yeast follow your usual method).
Melt the butter, add the milk to the butter to cool down. Add the luke warm butter mixture to the dry ingredients.
Scramble an egg and add this to the bowl. Now you knead this until you have a smooth yeast dough just slightly tacky.
Let the dough rise until doubled about 40 minutes
After the rise divide the dough into three strings. Braid it and form it into a wreath. It’s best to form it on a buttered or silicon mat lined cookie sheet. Mix one egg yolk with a little milk (or without milk) and brush the top of the wreath.
Sprinkle with coarse sugar (hail, pearl or decorator sugar) and almonds. Bake at 350 for 45-55 minutes. This really depends on your oven. Start checking more frequently after about 35 minutes.
Instead of one big Nest you could also make two smaller or individual ones that hold just one egg.
If you like you can also soak some raisins (150g soaked) in a little rum and/or add some candied orange or lemon peel (100g) and knead that under the dough and form this dough into this bread.
Give this bread an additional 20 minute rise before baking. After the rise cut a cross and brush some melted butter over the top. Sprinkle with Sugar and bake like the other bread.
This Easter bread is has been linked to Mommy's kitchen Potluck Sunday. Perfect for a Easter brunch. Happy Easter!
For more Easter ideas check baking at 350 I linked the Easter bread to it as well.
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