My dear readers, I would like to share with you a sweet bread recipe (or you could use your own recipe) that has Easter eggs baked right in the bread.
I love to dye Easter eggs and I love to bake them in a bread braid.
I get many compliments from my guests as it is such a pretty presentation. I make a special effort to make an Easter breakfast and if we have guests, this Easter Egg Braid is definitely a hit.
There are a few little tricks I have learned over the years to make this Easter Egg Braid even better. If you use dyed eggs, they tend to bleed their color into the dough…so I have found that if I use raw white eggs to make and bake…I can replace them with pretty colored dyed cooked eggs….and no one is the wiser. Another little tip is to remove the eggs immediately after removing the bread from the oven…but waiting to allow the bread to cool a bit before replacing the eggs with the dyed eggs. This allows the dough around the egg holes to “dry” a bit and not be soggy. Works out perfectly.
Below are a few examples of Easter Egg Braids….endless possibilities.
Some recipes I have seen call for the eggs to be cooked before placing into the dough, but that is really not necessary. Also, I was concerned that letting raw eggs sit in a very warm environment while the bread dough is rising, might not be a good idea….even though I have done just that over the years and it has worked out just fine. You know….with today’s health concerns, I found it better to remove the white eggs and replace with dyed eggs after baking. It is just a prettier presentation.
If you prefer to use dyed eggs in your braid…some have suggested to dye the raw egg for at least 24 hours to achieve a dark color that will not bleed onto the dough as it bakes. OR…to coat the dyed eggs with butter or oil before baking and during the baking but I find it easier to just replace the white eggs with the dyed eggs at the end of baking. As to the amount of eggs to place in between the braids…that will depend on your dough. If you make a ring, usually 5 eggs is the norm…If you make an oblong braid like I prefer, you can use 6 or more.
It is said that the Easter Egg Braid is a symbol of new beginnings…the cracking open of an egg being a new start…as well as the egg being tomb shaped. So this is a great time to make this Easter Egg Braid.
Have you made an Easter Egg Braid? If so, please share your methods and results.
Have a great beginning to a great week!
Hugs and Blessings Always
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (maybe less)
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 2/3 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 eggs
- 5 raw eggs, still in the shell (I use white but you can use dyed eggs)
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- In a large bowl, combine 1 cup flour, sugar, salt and yeast; stir well. Combine milk and butter in a small saucepan; heat until milk is warm and butter is softened but not melted.
- Gradually add the milk and butter to the flour mixture; stirring constantly. Add two eggs and 1/2 cup flour; beat well. Add flour, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. (you may not need all the flour...just add enough flour that the dough pulls together into a ball.)
- When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.
- Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn once to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
- Punch down the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough in half; cover and let rest for another 10 minutes.
- If you are making a braided ring...you should roll each half into a long rope about 36 inches long and 1 1/2 inches thick. If you are making a oblong wider braid, make the dough ropes about 20 inches long. (I prefer a finished braid about 8 inches wide and about 12 inches long)
- Loosely braid the two pieces of dough, forming a ring or (or oblong braid) and place onto a greased baking sheet lined with parchment paper if desired
- Gently make a space (using your fingers) between the braids to place each of the 5 eggs
- Seal the ends of the ring or braid together. Cover the bread with a damp towel and place in a warm place to rise until double in size (about 45 minutes)
- Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350 degrees
- Once the dough has risen, brush with melted butter and sprinkle with pastel colored sprinkles if desired.
- Bake for about 30 minutes or until golden brown. (do not overbake)
- I have used my electric stand mixer to make my dough and I have mixed the yeast into the flour and I have also used warm water (110 degrees) to mix my yeast. It is a matter of preference. The only caution I have is to not use too much flour...climates and humidity do matter.
- Using previously dyed eggs can sometimes cause the dye to bleed onto the dough...I prefer to use the white eggs for baking and replace with the dyed eggs after removing from the oven.