Why call it Easter bread if tastes so good you want to eat it all year? You might es well make Eierweck or Eierhörnchen (yeast dough rolls/croissants) with the dough. The lemon/zest can be substituted with 1 tsp vanilla. Besides Almonds, other possible add-ins are dried cranberries and pistachio nuts
If you choose to make the yeast rolls or croissants, you would bake them at 425 F, 20 to 25 minutes.
When making a true braided Easter bread or wreath, you would take several uncooked painted (food paint) eggs and lay them gently on top of the dough wreath towards the middle before baking. Brush some egg wash around the colored eggs, being careful not to touch them. The eggs will be done while baking
1 organic lemon (zest)
4 to 5 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
dash of salt
1 pack dry yeast
1 tsp diastatic malt (optional)
1/2 cup warm milk
1/4 cup butter
2 tbsp sour cream
1/2 cup Almond (slivered)
In a small bowl, mix the warm milk with the sugar until dissolved. Add the yeast and set the mix aside until it begins to foam slightly, about 5-10 min.
When the yeast starts bubbling, mix together flour and the salt in a large bowl.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the beaten eggs, zest/juice of 1 lemon, the sour cream and melted (but cold) butter. Set aside.
Add the yeast mixture to the flour, stirring until moistened. Add the remaining flour, and to the dough, a little at a time, mixing until the dough comes together.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5-10 minutes, until soft and smooth.
Place the dough in a clean, oiled bowl, turning to coat the dough with oil. Cover the dough with plastic wrap or a damp tea towel, and set in a warm (70-75F), draft-free place to rise for 1 hour.
Wait until had doubled in size, then turn it out onto a lightly floured surface.
Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces
Place the 3 pieces on the baking sheet with parchment paper, them make them into 24” ropes (If the dough springs back on you, cover the ropes with a damp towel and let rest for 5-10 minutes. Then try rolling them out again).
Pinch one end of all three ropes together and braid loosely.
Let rise for another 45 minutes
Gently brush the ring with the beaten egg and water egg wash, and place the almond slivers on top
Let the ring rise until puffy and nearly doubled, 45 minutes – 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 350F. Bake the bread for 25 minutes, until the Easter bread is golden and sounds hollow when tapped gently.
Let the bread cool on the baking sheet for at least 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
I have been living half of my life in Germany, then US, and traveling since then. My passion is cooking, painting and glass mosaic art. I try to re-create recipes I grew up with or tasted while traveling in Europe.
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