Braided Easter Bread


makes: 2 medium braided loafs

60 ml warm water
pinch sugar
7 gr dry yeast
120 ml milk
115 gr butter
125 gr granulated sugar
1 egg
400 gr all purpose flour
1 tsp vanilla extract, optional
50 gr melted butter, to brush over the top 
125 gr mixed currant and raisins
2 tbsp almond shavings


1. In a small bowl, combine the warm water, pinch sugar and yeast, stir lightly and let it sit for 5 minutes. 

2. In a medium sauce pan, add milk and butter, melt butter over medium heat. 

3. In a large bowl, combine half of the flour, sugar, egg, vanilla extract, pinch salt, butter mixture and yeast mixture. Knead until its all incorporated and add raisins mix, stir until well combined. Slowly add about the remaining flour. Knead for about 5 to 7 minutes or until you have a smooth dough. 

4. Oil a large bowl with some vegetable oil place the dough in the oiled bowl and oil the top of the dough with a little vegetable oil. Cover with plastic wrap and place it in a warm spot to rise for about 1 hour.

5. Preheat your oven to 180 C - 350 F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

6. When doubled in size, punch the dough down on a floured surface. Divide into 6 balls. Using your palms, and starting in the center and working outward, elongate 1 piece by rolling it gently against the work surface with even pressure until you have formed a rope as long as the prepared pan. Repeat with the remaining pieces.

7. Lay the 3 pieces out and begin braiding them.  Pinch the ends together at the top and at the bottom, and tuck the strands under at the ends.Place the braided loaf on the prepared pan, cover with a dry kitchen towel, and let rise again until loaf doubles in size, 45 to 60 minutes. Repeat with remaining balls of dough.

8. Brush each loaf with melted butter. Sprinkle with almond shaving.

9. Place in preheated oven and bake for about 25 to 30 minutes.

8. Remove from oven. Brush top of each loaf with remaining melted butter.

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