Up next in Easter Recipes (15 videos)
Easter ham, leg of lamb, hot cross buns, braided Easter bread, a bunny cake -- find easy Easter recipes in this Howcast video series.
You Will Need
- 1 envelope of active dry yeast
- 1/8 c. warm water
- 1/2 c. milk
- 1/2 stick of butter, divided
- 1/2 c. sugar
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 3 1/2 to 4 c. flour, divided
- 7 raw eggs, or 3 raw and 4 hard-boiled eggs
- 1 tbsp. water
- A small saucepan
- 2 large mixing bowls
- Electric mixer or whisk
- A pastry brush
- A large baking sheet
- Food coloring
- 3 tbsp. blanched almonds, slivered
Dissolve the yeast in the warm water.
Combine milk, butter, sugar
Heat the milk on low until almost simmering, and then stir in one-quarter stick of butter until melted. Turn off the heat. Pour the sugar and salt into a mixing bowl, and then pour in the milk and melted butter mixture, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.
Add flour, yeast, eggs
When the mixture has cooled to lukewarm, stir in a cup of flour and beat with the electric mixer or by hand until smooth. Add the dissolved yeast and two raw eggs, and beat until smooth. Then, add the flour, a half-cup at a time, until you have a soft dough.
Knead the dough
Flour your hands. Turn the dough onto a floured surface, and knead it for about 15 minutes, until it's satiny.
Let dough rise
Butter a large bowl. Shape the dough into a ball, put it in the bowl, and brush the dough with melted butter. Cover the bowl with a non-terry cloth kitchen towel and place it in a warm area that is free of drafts. Let it rise until it doubles, about two to three hours.
Shape the loaf
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Punch the dough down in the bowl; then let it rest for 10 minutes. Remove it from the bowl, and divide it into three pieces. Roll them into strips about 12 inches long, and form a loose braid. Transfer the loaf to the baking sheet, and press the ends together to form a circle.
Nestle four whole, unshelled eggs into the braid at evenly-spaced intervals. You can use plain white eggs or ones dyed with food coloring, and they can be raw or hard-boiled.
Finish and bake
Sprinkle the top of the loaf with almonds, if using. Beat one egg with a tablespoon of water. Brush the top of the bread with the egg wash. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool the bread before eating.