Easter bread

By Mary Berg
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Easter bread

A unique baked Easter bread treat with dyed hard-boiled eggs. Consider getting the kids involved in dying the eggs and helping make the bread dough for fun family time.

SERVES
4
 TO
6
TOTAL TIME

Ingredients

For the eggs

  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon food colouring per cup of water for dying
  • 1 ½ teaspoons white vinegar per cup of water for dying

For the dough

  • 1 ½ cups very warm water
  • 1 cup very warm whole milk
  • 4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • ½ cup honey
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 7–8 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 large egg yolks beaten with 2 tablespoons water, for an egg wash

Directions

For the eggs

  1. Place the eggs in a large pot of water and cover them with two inches of water. Place the pot over high heat and, as soon as the water come to a rolling boil, pop a lid on the pot and remove it from the heat.  Allow the eggs to stand for seven minutes. Drain the water from the pot and transfer the eggs to a bowl filled with ice water. Allow them to sit until chilled, about 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in as many bowls as you’d like there to be colours of eggs, pour one cup of water per egg you wish to dye.  For instance, if you would like to have blue, pink, and yellow eggs, you’ll be dying two eggs each colour.  Therefore, fill three separate bowls with two cups of water each.  Follow that with two teaspoons of colour into each bowl and three teaspoons of white vinegar.  Divide the eggs amongst the bowls, pop them into the fridge, and allow them to sit for about two hours or until they are the colour you desire.  Remove the eggs from the dye and lightly rinse them under cool running water and allow them to air dry on a paper towel lined plate.

For the dough

  1. While the eggs are dying, prepare the dough.
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer, whisk together the warm water, warm milk, yeast, and sugar and allow the yeast to bloom and bubble up for around 10 minutes.
  3. When the yeast is all lovely and foamy, beat in the honey, vegetable oil, and eggs.  Holding the hook attachment for your stand mixer in your hand, beat in one cup of flour at a time until it gets too difficult to mix by hand.  Attach the hook to the mixer and knead the dough until it is smooth, elastic, and no longer sticky, adding more flour as needed.
  4. Cover the bowl with a small piece of plastic wrap and a clean kitchen towel and allow the dough to rise in a warm place for one to one-and-a-half hours or until doubled in bulk.  Meanwhile, prepare a large baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper.
  5. When the dough has risen, punch it down and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface.  Divide the dough into three equal pieces.  Roll each into a long snake about one-and-a-half to two inches in diameter.  Braid the three pieces together, bringing the whole rope into a wreath shape and tucking the ends as best as you can.  Place the loaf onto the prepared baking sheet and lightly cover it with plastic wrap and a clean kitchen towel.  Allow the loaf to rise again in a warm spot for about one hour.
  6. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  When the loaf has risen, pop it into the oven for 10 minutes.  Remove the baking sheet from the oven and quickly and carefully push the dyed eggs, larger side down, into the loaf, spacing them out evenly.  Quickly brush the loaf with egg wash and return immediately to the oven.  Turn the heat down to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bake until the loaf is golden brown and the internal temperature reaches 190 derees Fahrenheit, about 25­30 minutes.  If the loaf is getting too brown at any point, tent it loosely with a piece of aluminum foil while it continues to bake.
  7. Transfer the bread to a wire rack and allow it to cool completely before serving.

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