Best Easter Bread Recipe
Easter signifies an important time for family gatherings all across the globe. As families come together, they often celebrate this occasion by sharing a special meal. Easter bread has become a popular choice at these various gatherings and has gleaned popularity all around the world. Easter bread is said to have originated across Europe and is still a popular recipe in many countries. However, sweet breads have an even older origin, and historians believe that honey bread was a popular treat amongst the Ancient Greeks. Nowadays, sweet breads or Easter bread is enjoyed by many people regardless of their country origin or religion. A popular type of Easter bread is the Hot Cross Bun, and it’s a popular pick because it’s simple to make and absolutely delicious. So, let’s have a look at this popular type of bread and explore a few Easter bread recipes.
What is Easter Bread?
Easter bread is a sweet bread that is particularly popular over the Easter period. However, it’s also consumed all year long and is a great option to bake for picnics and family events. A popular choice of bread over Easter is the classic hot cross bun. These spiced buns are made with yeast dough and contain flour, butter, eggs, and various spices, including cinnamon, spices, nutmeg, and cloves. They are usually decorated with a cross, and in religious symbolism, this equates to the cross. They are sometimes toasted and then slathered with butter or even cheese.
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The Classic Hot Cross Bun
To make eight, you will need:
For the Buns:
- 500 grams of white flour
- 50 grams cubed butter
- 2 eggs
- 200 grams of mixed dried fruit
- 200 ml milk
- 2 Tablespoons of mixed spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves)
- ounces of caster sugar
- 7 grams dried yeast (the easy blend variety)
- Half a tablespoon of salt
For the Glaze:
- Golden syrup or honey to glaze over
- 3 tablespoons white flour
- Mix the flour, salt, sugar, and mixed spices together in a mixing bowl.
- Slowly add in the butter to the mixture and use your fingertips to mix it. Add in the dried yeast and the dried fruit.
- Warm the milk (so it is hot, but not boiling) and beat the eggs with it. Slowly add the milk and egg mix to the flour mixture.
- Mix the ingredients all together until it is a moist dough. Allow it to rest for 5 minutes or so and then cut it into eight equal pieces.
- Use your hands to shape the mixture into round bun-like shapes and place them onto a floured baking sheet. Allow them to rest for about an hour until they have risen. Cover them in a loose sheet of clingfilm for this process.
- Once risen, heat your oven to 392 degrees F and then make your glaze. Mix two tablespoons of water with the flour and with a piping bag make your cross shape on the bun.
- Allow them to bake for about 15 minutes (or until golden brown) and finish your buns by glazing them with honey or syrup.
- Now you’re ready to enjoy them. Eat them fresh or toast them.
Making Italian Easter Bread
Italian Easter bread is another popular Easter pick, and it can even be decorated with eggs for some extra holiday fun. If you’re looking to make Easter bread with eggs, then this might be the pick for you. This festive recipe will delight the whole family and is a great baked bread to give as a holiday gift. It’s a fluffy and slightly sweet bread and is bound to delight all your guests.
For the bread, you will need:
- ½ a cup of milk
- ¼ of a cup of sugar
- 1 x orange
- 2 eggs
- 2 Teaspoons of dried yeast (active)
- 5 cups of all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ a cup of unsalted butter
- ½ a tsp of ground anise
For the decorative braid, you will need:
- 6 uncooked eggs (you can dye them with food coloring for added festivity)
- 1 beaten egg
- A tablespoon of water
What to do:
- Warm your milk and mix it with the yeast and sugar. Set the mix aside for 10 minutes. While this is happening, mix your flour and salt in a separate bowl.
- In a third bowl, mix your orange juice with 2 beaten eggs. Melt your butter and add it to the mix with the anise.
- Slowly add the milk mixture and the orange mixture to your bowl of flour. Stir until it reaches a moist consistency and slowly add in the flour that is left over.
- Knead the dough for about 5 minutes on a floured surface, so it doesn’t stick.
- Coat your sough in some oil and allow it to rest in a bowl for 1 hour. It should double in size as it rises.
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For the braid:
- Once it has risen, divide your dough into three equal strips and braid like a plait. Once braided, shape them into a ring.
- Place your raw eggs inside the braid (closer to the middle is best) and brush the entire braid with the beaten egg and water mix.
- Allow the ring time to rise and give it an extra hour to settle.
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Once the braid has risen, it is time to bake your bread.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and bake your bread for 25 minutes, or until golden.
- Once slightly cooled, pop it on a wire rack and allow it to totally cool.
- Enjoy your delicious Italian Easter bread!
Easter bread is a wonderful treat to be enjoyed by the whole family. There is simple bread for those who want to make their treats quickly, and more decorative choices for those who want to bring some creativity to the process. Whatever type of bread you choose, these are great recipes to share with the entire family and to enjoy all year long.