Sunday, April 4, 2010

Day 94: Easter Egg Bread

Happy Easter everyone! I hope you are all having a wonderful day. Easter is one of my favorite holidays. I love the spiritual significance of the holiday as well as the fun for the kiddos. I love that it makes me reflect on all the gifts that we receive through the life of Jesus Christ and through our faith in Him. I am also grateful that Easter weekend is also conference weekend. For members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it is when we get to receive spiritual direction from our church leaders. It would be like hearing the Pope speak if you were Catholic. It is a time for family and food, two of my favorite things.
I am really excited to share this recipe. I found it on a site called Simple Bites. I have seen pictures of this bread before, but never had a recipe until now. It is beautiful, and very festive, and surprisingly simple to make. It is my first real dutch oven yeast bread. I was nervous to try it, but the results were worth it.
Easter Egg Bread
12" dutch oven
6-6 1/2 cups of flour
1/2 cup flour
2 pkgs. active dry yeast
1-2 tsp. ground cardamom
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup milk
6 Tbs. butter, cubed
3 eggs
For the decorations and glaze:
3-6 hard boiled eggs, dyed
vegetable oil
1 egg
2 Tbs. cold water
In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 cups of flour, sugar, yeast, cardamom, and salt. In a sauce pan over medium heat, warm the milk and butter to 120* to 130*. Check with a thermometer. Add the warm milk to the dry ingredients; beat just until moistened. Add the 3 raw eggs and beat until smooth. Stir in enough of the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, to form a soft dough that pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic. It should feel smooth like a baby's bottom, about 10 minutes. Place dough in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes. Punch dough down. Turn onto a floured surface and divide the dough into 3 equal parts. Shape each part into a 24" rope. Place the ropes side by side and braid. It was easiest to start in the middle, braid to the end, and then braid up the other end. Bring the braid ends together to form a ring. Pinch the ends together to seal.
Rub the dyed eggs with oil. Gently separate the braided ropes and tuck the dyed eggs into the openings. Place in your oiled dutch oven. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 20 minutes. Beat the water and egg together and gently brush over the dough with a pastry brush. Bake at 375* for 28-31 minutes or until golden brown. Use 18 coals on top and 9 on the bottom. Carefully remove the bread from your dutch oven. Be sure to preheat the DO lid well.
The Finished Product
What I Learned
This was my first real attempt a yeast breads, and it turned out beautifully! I did mine in a 10" DO and it was too small. The bread rose so high that it hit the lid and the top crust got way to brown. A 12" will work better because the dough can spread out as it rises and won't get so tall, but will still fill the DO. Mine had to cook longer because it was so tall and thick, using a 12" oven should help that as well. Also, don't forget to preheat your lid. Get it nice and hot.
The Review
This was delicious! The bread was soft and had a nice smooth texture. It was also beautiful. I was surprised at how easy it was to shape. It is such a festive bread, and would be fun served with an Easter meal. My family though it was really fun to eat and the eggs tucked into the bread made the little ones really happy! Even with the top crust too brown, we really enjoyed it. Grade A, just for the fact that it is my first successful bread, and it was really good!

1 comment:

  1. Toni Congratulations!
    Yeast Breads are fantastic in a dutch oven. My First Experience I used two cups of liquid and it raised the lid about an inch and a half. The bread was still good! Nice to see you've started Yeast Breads! You'll love it!


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