Easter Bread

About this dish

  • Serves: 2
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Method: oven baking

This is an Easter morning favorite, another one of my family’s recipes that is made only one day a year. My dad liked to take un-iced slices and toast them, spreading a thick layer of jam on top, sometimes with butter first. I (of course) like the iced version better.

Since I moved to California, I’ve made several batches (usually 3, or 6 braided loaves) a year. Easter morning I host a brunch of my extended West-Coast ‘family’, which gets larger each year. It includes scrambled eggs (made with cream and butter), bacon (put 2-3 lbs in a deep pot on low, then higher at the end; it’s easier than frying it a strip-at-a-time), steak (on the grill), ham steaks or sirloin steaks, melon and strawberries, and OJ & champagne 😉

Ingredients

Full (triple) batch

  • one

Typical (single) batch

  • sdfsa

Instructions

here

Ingredients (triple batch, my mom made on the counter):

   (for the dough:)
   DRY:
   ------------------------------------

    11 cups flour
     2 teaspoons salt
   3/4 cup sugar                    (I always go heavy on the sugar!)


   WET:
   ------------------------------------
     3 cakes of yeast               (Mom always used cake yeast,
                                     near the yogurt at the grocer's,
                                     but dry packaged works fine)
   1.5 cups warm water              (100-110 F; lower than 120 F;
                                    _slightly_ warm to the touch)
     7 eggs                         (large is fine)
   1.5 cups milk
     3 tablespoons melted butter    (margarine works)
     2 tablespoons rum              (a shot, if you prefer ;-)

VARIATION: small batch (makes 2 braids on one cookie sheet):
   DRY:
   ------------------------------------
     4 cups flour
   2/3 teaspoons salt
   1/4 cup sugar                    (I always go heavy on the sugar!)

   WET:
   ------------------------------------
     1 cake of yeast                (Mom always used cake yeast,
                                     near the yogurt at the grocer's,
                                     but dry packaged works fine)
   1/2 cup warm water               (100-110 F; lower than 120 F;
                                    _slightly_ warm to the touch)
     2 eggs                         (large is fine)
   1/2 cup milk
     1 tablespoons melted butter    (margarine works)
     2 tablespoons rum              (a shot, if you prefer ;-)
                       NOTE: I didn't scale the rum; like the sugar,
                       a little more makes it taste better to me ;-)  

   EXTRA:
   ------------------------------------
   oil (a cup does fine, for 'wetting' your hands, the bowl, 
   and the baking sheet; use corn or other 'flavorless' variety)

   boiled and dyed (food-safe) eggs (if desired; OPTIONAL)

   icing (see below, as from the Italian Wedding cookies)
   jimmies (sprinkles) - Easter colors (yellow, pink, light green, etc.)

Dissolve yeast in the warm water; add a pinch of sugar to kick-start
(bloom) the yeast. Mix the dry ingredients together; mix the wet. Mix
the two together, and knead until a ball (a little sticky is
expected).  Flatten out a little, and put in an oiled bowl or on an
oiled baking sheet to rise (wait for it to double - my recipe says 4
hours, but it rarely takes that long, more like 1-2; note - it's
SLOW).

Punch it down and knead it again. Split into groups and roll out;
braid as desired. You can braid the dough around the boiled eggs if
you like, or just sit the eggs in a gulley in the braid, and hold in
place with thin strips in an "X". Make sure there's some
dough under the boiled eggs, so they don't touch the baking sheet
directly. Let rise again, until double (1-2 hours).

Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes until golden. Ice as desired (see below,
same as for the Italian Wedding cookies), drizzle over top, or spread
on the 'knobs' of the braid. Add jimmies (sprinkles) if desired.

Stays fine if covered (with a bowl or tea towel) after the glaze dries
a bit.  It might last up to a week, but we usually eat it before then.

------------------------------------------------------

    (for the icing:)

	1 lb powdered sugar
	2 teaspoons butter	(sliver it while it's cold, VERY thin,
				so it will blend in, but not require
				melting)
	teaspoon vanilla
	1 oz rum or whiskey	(as above, *ligth* rum works best)
	water, as needed	(cold. use milk if cookies will be
				eaten within a few weeks, use water
				if freezing, to avoid 'stale' aftertaste)
	jimmies (sprinkles)	(or granulated colored sugar, which I like
				but my mother says is rough on people
				with dental work!)
	
ICING
 
Place powdered sugar in a bowl. Add water/milk **slowly* until a thick
paste forms. Add vanilla and rum. Blend in butter slivers. Add more
liquid until icing is 'spreadable' - NOT runny, but more like thick
jam.