Sunday, April 5, 2015

Easter Egg Bread

Such promise is held in Spring, Easter time, new beginnings. Thinking about the upcoming growing season and all the doings of summer.

I usually buy tulips in the Spring because I need to be reminded what flowers look like, what color looks like and its kind of a promise of what is to come.

We had a lot of fun coloring eggs.  My friend and her son came over which made it even more fun.  I had a bit of double duty making a cake for my husbands birthday.  I was in the kitchen all day.  When the dishes were all done, everything put away it was nearly six.  We dyed eggs, made a cake and frosted it, cooked sauce, fried up some onions for topping and made pizza for the little celebration, oh and made a card. A pretty eventful day I would say.

Recipe adapted from Taste of Home.  

1/2 cup sugar
2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
1 to 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1 teaspoon salt
6 to 6-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups whole milk
6 tablespoons butter, cubed
3 eggs
1 egg plus 2 tablespoons water for egg wash
3 to 6 colored hard boiled eggs

In a large bowl, mix sugar, yeast, cardamom, salt and 2 cups flour. In a small saucepan, heat milk and butter to 120°-130°. You wanted heated, right before it boils, remove from heat.  Don't boil it.  Let cool until you can hold your finger in it for fifteen seconds. Add to dry ingredients; beat on medium speed 2 minutes. Add 3 eggs; beat on high 2 minutes. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough (dough will be sticky).

If you are using a mixer, let mix until everything is incorporated and then for another minute or two.  If you not using a mixer be sure to turn dough onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes.

Gently fold down dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide in half.  Set the one half back in bowl.  You are going to make two loaves.  Divide the one half into three equal portions.  Roll 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. Lightly coat dyed eggs with oil; arrange on braid, tucking them carefully between ropes.

Cover with a damp kitchen towel; let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 375°.

In a bowl, whisk remaining egg and water; gently brush over dough, avoiding eggs. Bake 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan to a wire rack to cool. Refrigerate leftovers.

Yield: 2 loaves (12 slices per loaf). About 187 calories per 1/12th of a single loaf.

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