Easter Bread

Easter Bread

Easter Bread
Enjoy this holiday bread for Easter breakfast or any other important occasions. It melts in your mouth and is a deviation from the staleness of store-bought breads.
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At a glance
Main Ingredient:
Cooking Method:
Course/Dish:
Occasions:
Makes:
3 loaves (coffee cans)

Ingredients
4  tsp. active dry yeast (or two envelopes) 
1/4  cup warm water 
3  cups milk, scalded and cooled to lukewarm 
7-8  cups flour 
4  egg yolks 
1  cup sugar 
1  tsp. salt 
16  cardamom pods, crushed (about 2 tsp.) 
1  grated orange, rind of 
1  grated lemon, rind of 
1/2  cup raisins 
1/2  cup chopped almonds (optional) 
1  cup butter, melted 
For optional icing
2  cups sifted confectioners' sugar 
4  tbsp. water 
2-3  drops almond extract

Methods/steps
Dissolve yeast in warm water.
Add 2 cups of the milk to the yeast/water.
Sift in 2 cups of the flour.
Beat until smooth and elastic with a wooden spoon or beaters.
Cover and let rise for one hour.
Beat egg yolks and sugar together until light.
Add egg/sugar to dough, stirring well with wooden spoon.
Add the salt, cardamom, orange and lemon peel, raisins and almonds (if using), stir well.
Add the remaining milk (1 cup) and butter.
Stir in the remaining flour until stiff dough forms.
Turn onto a floured breadboard and knead until smooth and elastic (8-10 minutes).
Place dough in greased bowl, turn and cover with plastic wrap.
Let rise for 1 hour or until doubled.
Grease 3 (1 lb.) coffee cans and dust with sugar.
Fill cans half full and let rise until dough is even with top of can (30 minutes) and bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 1 hour or until bread is golden and tests done.
If desired, loaves can be iced with optional frosting.
To make optional frosting, combine frosting ingredients (confectioners sugar, water and almond extract).
Drizzle over cooled loaves.

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