From Anik’s Kitchen: Sweet Easter Bread

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Easter is over, but this bread will probably taste just as good any other Sunday of the year. Or on a Monday, as in my case, since I didn’t find the time to bake it until Sunday night.

I blame this experiment on an old friend of mine who had given me a jar of fancy macadamia nut/honey spread (tasting every bit as good as it sounds!) for my Ph.D. defense last year and I needed a proper bread as a carrier for said spread. By coincidence, the ZEITmagazin (#15/2012, p.70) happened to run an Easter bread recipe just last week with all bio-ingredients, so I tweaked it a little and tried my luck.

Summary: I will have to write another Ph.D. to get another glass of the spread and put it onto this same bread!

The recipe uses whole wheat flour in my version, though I suspect it still isn’t the healthiest bread around. But at least it can claim to be processed-sugar free – if it is unhealthy, it is so in an entirely wholesome way.

Ingredients:

  • 500g whole wheat flour
  • 1 handful of regular white flour
  • 75g butter or margarine
  • 300ml milk (1,5%), lukewarm
  • 100g ecologically won honey
  • 30g fresh yeast
  • zest of one ecologically safe lemon
  • 1 tsp. vanilla essence or vanilla suar or vanilla extract.
  • 3g salt
  • 1 small egg, whisked
  • 3tbsp- almond splinters

Instructions:

  • Crumble the yeast into a large mixing bowl, our 100ml of milk on top, stir lightly and set aside for 10-15 minutes until the yeast starts to work.
  • Add all the other ingredients except for the regular flour and blend well with kneading pegs, about a minute or two.
  • Knead dough for about 5-10 minutes with your hands, losing the regular flour to handle it – the whole wheat flour makes the dough moister and more difficult to control.
  • Return the dough to its bowl and let it sit to rise for about a hour in a nice, warm place (I preheat the oven to 50°C for about ten minutes, then switch it off and place the bowl of dough in there).
  • After an hour, the dough should have doubled (at least). Divide it into three parts, roughly the same size, and roll those parts between your fingers into long strings (30-40cm).
  • From a braid from the strings atop a sheet of baking paper so you don’t need to move the finished braid afterwards.
  •  Paint the broaid lightly with whisked egg, drizzle almond splinters on top.
  • Allow the braid to rest for another half hour while preheating the oven to 190°C (or 180°C/350°F, in case youre oven works better than mine, which it probably does).
  • Bake for about 25-30 minutes until toasted golden.
  • Get out that macadamia spread, or chocolate cream, or favorite jam or butter or… mhmmmm!

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