recipe: braided easter bread

Traditionally, Easter bread is a sweetened loaf that has been served for many centuries. This one in particular is modified from a traditional Italian loaf. After combining a few recipes that I found online, I made this loaf twice and settled on the one where I had the best results. I altered the steps, added and took away some ingredients, and didn’t add dyed eggs to it. It is a soft and sweet loaf that can really be served anytime during the year! It is paired best with light or sweet toppings (such as butter or jam).

Braided Easter Bread

Ingredients:

2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tbsp active dry yeast
1 1/2 cup warm milk
1/2 cup butter, plus more to grease
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vinegar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
6 cups all-purpose flour

Steps:

1. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, yeast, and warm milk. Mix and cover with a damp tea towel for 15 minutes. Mixture should be bubbly.

2. Add warm butter, salt, vinegar, eggs, and vanilla. Beat over medium for 1 minute. Add flour 1 cup at a time. Use approximately 6 cups or until dough is slightly firm and no longer sticky to the touch. Move to a floured surface and knead by hand for 5 minutes. Transfer to a greased bowl, cover with a damp tea towel, and let rise for 1 hour.

3. Punch down the dough. Separate into three and let stand on a floured surface. Roll out each one into a rope 1” thick. Put each rope side by side, and pinch the top ends together. Gently braid, then form into a ring.

4. Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease a cookie sheet or 8” cake pan and gently place the ring on top. Butter the ring, then cover with a tea towel and let rise for 30 minutes.

5. Place ring in oven and bake for 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove and brush with more butter. Let cool slightly before serving. Can be stored in an airtight container up to 3 days, or frozen up to 3 months.

Emory

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