Plaited Easter Bread

Posted on 04/08/2012 by lady_of_clunn

A fluffy, festive bread that is not at all dry!

- 500 g Flour (I used a mix of spelt and wheat but just because I had not realised that I was running out of flour!)
- about 45g fresh yeast
- 200 ml milk
- 75 g sugar
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
- 125 g butter
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg white
- raisins to taste

For a savoury variety:

- 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
- 2 tablespoons dried and chopped chives

- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon milk
- flaked almonds
- 'hail' sugar (looks like very coarse sugar but is very delicate and soft)

Gently warm milk. In a large bowl, combine a bit of the sugar, the yeast and milk, cover the bowl and let the mixture rest in a warm place for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix the rest of the ingredients. Add the yeast mixture. Knead until the dough is no longer sticky (you can add a tiny bit of flour if that doesn´t seem to work out). Cover the bowl and let the dough rest in a warm place for an hour.

Knead dough once more, cut in three to six equal portions, form strands and plait. Place on a baking paper-covered baking sheet, cover and let rest in a warm place for 30 minutes.

Beat egg yolk and milk together, coat the bread with it. Sprinkle with flaked almonds and sugar to taste.

Bake at 200 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes.

If you prefer a savoury variety, reduce the sugar to 50 g, leave out raisins and grated lemon peel. Before plaiting, add poppy seed to one portion of the dough, dried chives to another. This will look very pretty and tastes great with egg or cold ham for a savoury Easter breakfast.

saline_queen 9th-Apr-2012 02:27 am (UTC)
That bread looks Devine!!!!</p>

But I can't help notice those amazing Easter eggs!! How'd you get such beautiful colors?

lady_of_clunn 9th-Apr-2012 10:05 am (UTC)
Thank you!

The colours are just standard Easter egg colours. They come in little tablets - dissolve one in 250 ml of cold water, add 2 tablespoons vinegar and leave the cooked, still hot egg in the solution for five minutes.

Some of my American friends have commented that they are more used to pastel colours. I guess we still have more of the whole fertility festival in our traditions - I can´t imagine Easter without vibrant, primary colours!

Edit: some people still use onion peel for yellow, red beet for red, red cabbage for purple, spinach for green. Only truly blue eggs can´t be easily achieved with natural dyes.

Edited at 2012-04-09 10:07 am (UTC)
arrien 9th-Apr-2012 08:49 pm (UTC)
Those eggs look amazing, I agree!! Yeah our eggs are more bright/pastel, not deep and rich like those. They're beautiful!! The blue looks amazing.
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