How To Make Braided Easter Bread
A fun traditional Easter Bread that holds your colorful Easter eggs too.
Braided Easter Bread
Traditionaly, Braided Easter bread is baked on Holy Thursday, 3 days before Easter. Braided Easter bread is made with whole eggs, white or colored, baked right into the bread. For extra color, dye the Easter eggs before nestling them into the bread. Braided Easter bread is a tradition in our home. It started with my grandmother over 20 years ago. Now I make it every year for Easter. I use colored eggs so the bread looks more decorative and colorful. It's so tasty that I eat it without button on it. You can also use it to make an amazingly tasty Frech toast casserole. I usually make extra ones and give them to my neighbors for Easter gifts. Start a new family Easter tradition in your home with this decorative braided Easter bread!
Equipment Needed To Make Braided Easter Bread
You will need the following eqiupment to make Braided Easter Bread:
- Small saucepan
- 2 large mixing bowls
- Electric mixer or a whisk
- Pastry brush
- Large baking sheet
- Food coloring (optional)
- 3 tablespoons of branch almonds; slivered (optional)
Braided Easter Bread Ingredients
- 1 envelope active dry yeast
- 1/8 cup warm water
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 stick butter; divided
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 1/2 - 4 cups flour; divided
- 3 raw eggs
- 4 hard boiled eggs
- 1 tablespoon water
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Braided Easter Bread Baking Directions
- Put the yeast in the warm water.
- Heat the milk on low until it is almost simmering; stir in 1/4 stick of butter until melted.
- Pour the sugar and salt into a mixing bowl; pour in the milk and butter mixture and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
- When the mixture has cooled to lukewarm, stir in 1 cup of flour and beat with the electric mixer or by hand until smooth.
- Add the dissolved yeast and 2 raw eggs; beat until smooth.
- Add the remaining flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until you have a soft dough.
- Four your hands then put the dough on a floured surface and knead it for about 15 minutes.
- Butter the inside of a large bowl.
- Shape the dough into a ball; put it in the buttered bowl and brush it with butter.
- Cover the bowl with a non-terrycloth kitchen towel; place the bowl in an area in the kitchen that is free of drafts.
- Let the dough rise until it doubles in size, about 2-3 hours.
- Preheat the oven at 350 degrees.
- With your fist, punch the dough down in the bowl; let it rest for 10 minutes.
- Take the dough out of the bowl and divide in 3 pieces.
- Roll the pieces into 12 inch long strips; form a loose braid with the 3 strips.
- Transfer the braided bread to a baking sheet; form it into a circle with the ends pressed together.
- Nestle 4 whole, unshelled, eggs into the braid at evenly spaced intervals. You can use plain white eggs or ones dyed with food coloring.
- If using the optional almonds, sprinkle them on the braided bread.
- Beat 1 egg with a tablespoon of water; brush it on the top of the braided bread.
- Place the Braided Easter Bread in the oven and bake 35-40 minutes, or until golden brown.