“Easter Bread”, Braided Bread with Icing Sugar

Braided bread can be made with almost any dough, but I choose a slightly sweet version we have with our Easter Brunch.

Serves: 1 loaf | Preparation: 20 min | Rising time: 20 min + 2 hours | Baking: 20 min

Who connected us?!  This recipe is my twist on a recipe from a Dutch TV show called : “Heel Holland Bakt”. The Dutch version of Masterchef focussed on baking only.

Ingredients:

  • 450g White baking flour
  • 7g dry yeast
  • 25g Butter (room temperature)
  • 300ml Milk (lukewarm)
  • 1 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 Egg (lightly beaten)
  • 2tbsp Icing Sugar

Making the dough

  1. Add the yeast to the 50ml milk and let in stand for 5 minutes to activate. Little bubbles form on top of the mixture.
  2. Put the baking flour in a large bowl and make a well in the middle. Add the yeast mixture, sugar, butter and the rest of the milk. Mix with a fork until combined and leave the mixture to rest for 15 minutes, covered with a wet tea towel.
  3. After the whole mixture is activated you add the salt.
  4. Kneading, the fun part. You can choose to knead the dough in a stand mixer for about 5 minutes on low speed, or you can mix the dough by hand to give your self a 10 minute workout.
  5. Leave the dough in a drought free spot, covered with a wet tea towel for about 1 hour until the dough is doubled in size.

Breading the dough

  1. Beat the air out of the dough and divide the dough in 3 equal portions.
  2. Form 3 equal seized balls and ket the dough rest for another 10 minutes. The dough will rise again, but not double in size.
  3. Roll the dough into long strings equal in length and thickness.
  4. When you start breading the dough, make sure the top of the strings are well pushed together. Braid the dough and pus the end of the strings together.
  5. Fold the top and bottom end of the braided dough underneath, so you don’t end up with a weird looking end piece.
  6. Put the dough on a baking tray lined with baking paper and leave the dough to rise for about 1 hour.

Baking

  1. Preheat the oven at 220 degrees Celsius
  2. Slightly beat an egg and brush over the dough
  3. Bake the bread in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown. When your bread starts to brown early, cover it with aluminium foil and bake until finished
  4. A finished bread should sound hollow when you tap the bottom.
  5. When the bread is cooled, brush with icing sugar mixture (icing sugar with a few drops of water) and decorate any way you like. I used some speckled Easter eggs, be creative 🙂

About Breading Easterbread

Some may refer to breaded Easter Bread as Challah. Although there are some similarities and breaded bread recipes might have their origins in Challah, Easter bread is not the same. Challah is a special bread in the Jewish cuisine, often served on ceremonial occasions like Shabbat and major Jewish holidays, other than Passover. Challah is often referred as a small portion of the dough being kept apart for offering. In Biblical Hebrew Challah meant a kind of cake or sweet bread.

Notes:

  • Breading; I breaded the bread only with 3 strings. For those of you who are way handier in breading, you could use more strings or bread the bread into a circle. Be creative and send me your pics.
  • Poppy seeds: If you prefer more savoury version, sprinkle the dough with poppy seed or sesame seeds after you brushed it with the eggs wash.

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