The following is my favorite Easter bread recipe. I make it every Holy Saturday to eat on Easter Sunday. It takes about 6 hours from start to finish, but it’s worth the waiting. Recipe is from Lent and Easter in the Christian Kitchen which cites A Continual Feast.
Even though this recipe calls for dyed eggs to be placed on top, I no longer do it, because the dye was always transferring to the bread. The spices in this recipe will make your house smell wonderful. The bread dries out quickly (within a day), but fortunately, the leftovers make delectable french toast. I highly recommend Donna-Marie’s Blueberry Pecan French Toast. Today, I put some Grand Marnier in the egg batter (Bill’s idea) and have decided that is pretty yummy too.
Easter is 50 days long, so it’s not too late to make this bread. The loaf is huge and I’ll be slicing it and freezing it to enjoy many other times. It’s too rich to eat every day.
2 packages yeast (4 1/2 tsp)
1/4 cup warm water
1/2 cup sweet butter, melted
3/4 cup scalded milk
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
4 1/2 – 5 cups flour
5-6 hard-boiled eggs, dyed deep red
Sprinkle the yeast into warm water; stir to dissolve.
In a large bowl, stir the butter into the milk. Add the eggs, one at a time, the sugar, salt and spices. Beat until smooth.
Stir in the yeast and 2 cups of flour and mix well. Gradually add enough of the remaining flour to make a smooth dough. If the dough is too sticky, add more flour.
Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 10 to 15 minutes or until it is smooth and elastic. Place in a greased bowl, turn to grease top, cover and let rise until doubled (about 1 1/2 – 2 hours).
Punch the dough down, turn it out onto a floured surface and knead 3-5 minutes. Form it into one large, flat round loaf and place it on a lightly greased baking pan. Set the eggs into the top of the loaf in the shape of a cross. Press the eggs firmly, but carefully.
Cover lightly and let rise for about 1 1/2 hours, or again until doubled. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-55 minutes until loaf is golden brown.