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Glazed Easter Bread



I loved Easter when I was a child.  We didn't get a lot of candy really, a chocolate bunny, some coloured candy eggs, with a white nougat filling, maybe a few chocolate eggs, and coloured Real Easter Eggs. The eggs were always raw, and my mother would poke a hole into them with a darning needle and blow them out so we could have scrambled eggs for breakfast.  Then she would string the empty egg shells onto yarn and we would wear them like a necklace all day, trying to see how long we could go without them breaking up.  


It was a time also of reflections on the meaning of Easter and the Saviour's sacrifice.  There would be special activies at Sunday School and church and of course we would celebrate on the Sunday with a lovely ham dinner baked by my mom.  Another of my favourite memories is of the beautiful Easter Breads that my Aunt Thelma would bake and send up to us.  They were always iced and decorated with candied fruit. We loved them.

 Aunt Thelma & Mom, circa 1936  

Aunt Thelma was my mother's oldest sister.  She didn't have a lot, but she was so very generous to share what she had with us. She brought up five children all on her own, and she did it on her hands and knees cleaning other people's houses.  Her own home was spotless and she was a fabulous cook.  She made the best Potato Rolls.  I wish I had her recipe, and I wish I had the recipe for those lovely Easter Breads she used to make us as well. Alas she has been gone for a while now and nobody has the recipes.  I think of her often and with love, but most especially at Easter when I think of her loving generosity to us.


This recipe today is from one I put together in memory of my dear Aunt. I can't promise that it is as good as hers was, but it is pretty good and not all that hard to make.  I think hers was a bit lighter in texture, but that could just be the rose coloured glasses of my memory doing that.


Its an easy sweet dough, containing eggs, and makes one braided loaf.  Make sure you warm the milk to blood temperature before you add the yeast and sugar. It is also a sticky dough, but if you use a well floured board when you are kneading it, this isn't a problem.


Its very easy to shape.  Just cut your risen dough into three, shape each into a longish log (maybe 12 inches in length) and then braid them together. Fold the ends under to finish them off nicely, and then you pop it onto a baking sheet to raise a bit more.



I flavoured the dough with some ground cardamom . . .  I think cardamom goes wonderfully in sweet breads such as this.


You finish the baked and cooled loaf off with a simple icing sugar and milk drizzle and then sprinkle it with some candy sprinkles for colour.  I didn't have any cherries today, or I would have used them instead.


This really is a beautiful loaf.  I am not a great bread baker and the fact that it turned out well for me is a testimony to the greatness of the recipe!  Yahoo!


It has a beautiful even crumb, without any big holes.  And the glaze is just the right touch without being too sweet. I am not normally overly fond of sprinkles, but must needs do whatever you have to to make it look all pretty for Easter.




*Glazed Easter Bread*
makes 1 loaf 

Created in the memory of my Aunt Thelma who used to bake us beautiful Easter Breads every year. 

For the bread:
350g white bread flour
45g caster sugar (1/4 cup)
160ml warm milk (2/3 cup)
2 tsp active dry yeast
2 TBS softened butter
2 large free range eggs
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp salt
For the icing:
260g icing sugar (2 cups)
2 TBS milk
sprinkles



Mix the milk and yeast in a bowl.  Let stand for five minutes.  Stir in the sugar, butter, flour, ground cardamom, and salt.  Blend well together with an electric whisk.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time. The dough will be fairly sticky.  Tip out onto a well floured bread board, and knead for about five minutes until you have a smooth non-sticky dough, shape into ball, drop into a lightly oiled bowl, turning to grease the ball. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave to rise for an hour in a warm place. 


Tip out onto a lightly floured surface and divide in three.  Shape each piece into a long thin rope.  Braid the ropes together into a plait. Tuck ends under and place onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet.  Lightly cover with a clean tea towel and allow to rise for about half an hour.


Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F gas mark 4.  Bake the bread in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.  Place onto a wire rack to cool completely.


Whisk together the icing sugar and milk to give you a smooth drizzle.  Spoon over the loaf of bread and sprinkle with sprinkles.  Let set before cutting into slices to serve.



Todd enjoyed some sliced and buttered and spread with plum jam.  He does love his bread and jam.  This bread would make a welcome addition to your Easter morning breakfast.  Bon Appetit! 



QuickEdit
Marie Rayner
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10 comments:

  1. What a lovely bread that I am going to make. Thank you for sharing it and also the sweet story about your family. Wonderful memories you have. Happy Easter and a Good Friday to you. Betsy

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much Betsy! I hope tha tyou like it! Happy Easter and Good Friday to you also! xo

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  2. It looks so lovely! Love the pic Marie:)

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    1. Thanks so much Monique! I don't have the skill at presentation that you have, but It is a nice bread. I love this picture of my mom with her older sister too! Happy Easter! xo

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  3. Oh my gosh I want, want, want. Any chance you can fix the recipe's printable link?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry about that Gordon, I accidentally forgot to add the link. I have sorted it now. Hope you enjoy the bread and Happy Easter!

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    2. Thank you Marie. You are the best!Happy Easter.

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  4. Reminds me of the braided loaves I used to make when the children were growing up, from Easter bread like this one to Challah at Passover.

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    Replies
    1. What a lovely memory Jo! Happy Easter/ Passover!

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