Recipe by Natalie Findlay
This Easter bread makes for a beautiful presentation on your Easter table and is truly delectable. It’s also fun to get the kids involved in making the coloured eggs beforehand so they can be a part of the process.
2/3 cup (160 mL) whole milk
1 ¾ tsp dry-active yeast
15 g sugar
2 eggs, room temperature, beaten
675 g all-purpose flour
60 g sugar
125 g butter, cubed, room temperature
- Heat milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until your thermometer registers 110°-115° F. Transfer milk to a 1 L measuring cup and stir in 15 g of the sugar. Sprinkle yeast over milk and stir to blend.
- Let sit until yeast is foamy, about 5 minutes. If yeast does not foam then it is not alive and you‘ll need to start over with fresh yeast. Add eggs and stir until smooth.
- Combine remaining 60 g sugar, flour, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. With mixer running on low, add the milk mixture. Start adding the room-temperature butter, 1 piece at a time, blending well between additions. Mix on medium-high speed until dough is soft and silky, about 5 minutes (set your timer).
- Brush a medium bowl with melted butter; place dough in bowl. Brush the top of dough with melted butter and cover with plastic wrap or a towel. Let dough rise in a warm, draft-free area until doubled in size, 1 – 1 1/2 hours.
- Punch down dough. Divide into 2 or 3 equal pieces (weigh for best results). With lightly floured hands, roll each piece on a lightly floured surface into a 40 cm (16”) long rope with tapered ends. (If dough begins to bounce back, cover with a kitchen towel and let rest for 10 minutes to allow the dough to relax.)
- If using 2 pieces then twist the 2 pieces around each other and form into the size and shape you would like, placing eggs in the centre if making a round. If using 3 pieces, place ropes side by side and braid dough. Pinch ends together to secure. Tuck dyed eggs between braids, spacing evenly. Loosely cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel. Let rise in a warm, draft-free area 45–50 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375º F. Whisk an egg with 2 tsp (10 mL) of water in a small bowl.
- Brush dough all over with egg wash, avoiding any coloured eggs you have used. Bake until bread is golden, 20–25 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.
- Serve the day it is made for the most yums. Fantastic fresh or toasted, slathered with butter.