Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Egg Bread

This Easter, well, EVERY Easter, our family gathers at my Mom's house. She still keeps the tradition of hiding our baskets (which we LOVE by the way) and she writes out sequential clues on scraps of paper that have us scrambling all over the house, garage, deck, and backyard until we end up with our basket of goodies. It's usually a race between Chad, my brother, niece, and I. We hurry around the house, no doubt looking silly. We like to pretend that mom (err, the Easter Bunny) hasn't out witted us with the clues, but there is always that one (or two) that stumps. Every year someone finds their basket first, and someone is last, but it really doesn't matter.

This year, unlike others, I was able to contribute something to the dinner table. The dinner items are usually taken care of. This year I decided to make an Easter Egg bread to go along with the baked ham that was being served.

I found this recipe at Taste of Home. The instructions were easy to follow, and the time for the rising of the dough to the end product was about 2 hours. Not as time consuming as some other breads I have made.
I loved the decorative eggs, although they did bleed a little into the dough. I have no clue how to prevent this, so no tips on what I would do next time. The bread itself was extremely tasty, and a great decoration as well. I love the slight sweetness of it, the crust had the most perfect texture and I plan to use some of the left overs to make french toast. This is a recipe I will definitely be making again, even if it isn't Easter.

Easter Egg Bread
(Taste of Home)
6 to 6-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
1 to 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups milk
6 tablespoons butter, cubed
4 eggs
3 to 6 hard-cooked eggs
Vegetable oil
2 tablespoons cold water

In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 cups flour, sugar, yeast, cardamom and salt. In a saucepan, heat milk and butter to 120°-130°. Add to dry ingredients; beat just until moistened. Add 3 eggs; beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes. Dye hard-cooked eggs; lightly rub with oil. Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide dough into thirds. Shape each portion into a 24-in. rope. Place ropes on a greased baking sheet and braid; bring ends together to form a ring. Pinch ends to seal. Gently separate braided ropes and tuck dyed eggs into openings. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 20 minutes. Beat water and remaining egg; gently brush over dough (I ended up using a little cream and water since I was all out of eggs). Bake at 375° for 28-32 or until golden brown. Remove from pan to a wire rack to cool. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 1 loaf.


Anonymous said...

Your bread looks great! What a cute idea to add the Easter eggs!

Patsyk said...

That's a really nice looking bread! I like how you added the eggs for a festive touch.

Jade said...

Your bread looks great! Perfect crust...

Anonymous said...

Ally, what a great idea! So creative and SO cute! I would have never thought to add easter eggs to bread. Love it!

Elly said...

This looks great, Ally! It looks exactly like Greek Easter bread (tsoureki) so maybe it is. I am hoping to make some for the first time in next couple weeks so I guess we'll find out then ;)

Carrie said...

That bread is SO cool, I will have to remember this for next Easter.

Carrie said...

That bread is SO cool, I will have to remember this for next Easter.

That Girl said...

It looks like challah...but with pretty eggs!!

Kayte said...

it really does look like challah! this is so cute ally. love it!

Melissa said...

you did an amazing job!