Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Getting Ready for Easter...

Today I picked up Shreck and Disney Princess dye kits in preparation for our annual Easter egg dye. The last few years we've dyed RAW eggs in order to make Easter Bread, which we eat on Easter Sunday morning.

This year, since we're driving to Georgia for Easter (can't stand the thought of hunting for Easter eggs in a foot of snow), we'll be doing the whole make-and-bake activity several days ahead of time. It's always a leap of faith for me, because I stand a 50-50 shot of killing the yeast. (True confession: the picture-perfect loaf on the left was baked by someone else.)
Usually I wind up making two batches, just to be sure one turns out. But for those of you natural bread makers out there who DON'T subscribe to Canticle (and whyever NOT?), here's the recipe:

Easter Bread:

2-3/4 C flour
1/4 C sugar
1 tsp salt
1 pkg dry yeast
2/3 C milk
2 Tbls margarine
2 eggs, beaten
4 colored raw eggs
(optional: 1/4 C chopped blanched almonds)

Combine flour, sugar, salt and yeast in large bowl. Heat milk and margarine over low heat until warm (120-130F). Add to dry ingredients. Add beaten eggs into dry mixture with milk. Beat 2 minutes.

Stir in enough additional flour to make soft dough. Knead 8-10 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, flip to grease top. Cover and let rise until double (1 hour). Punch down. If adding almonds, knead them now. Divide in half and roll each half into 24" rope.

Twist ropes together loosely, like a candy cane. Form into ring on greased sheet, tucking loose ends under to form ring. Brush with melted butter, and place eggs into spaces of twist. Cover and let rise until double (about 45 minutes). Bake 350 for 30-35 minutes.

We usually make 2 for two reasons: If they both turn out, we bring one to a friend. If not, we eat the one that doesn't look as though it will break a tooth. After all, Lent (and any associated suffering) is over. It's time to REJOICE!


Bernadette said...

i've been trying for a week to score a free trial issue of the mag, but cannot get thru!

by the way, now my *mom's* in the hospital, if you can believe it.

Lord, have mercy.

Heidi Hess Saxton said...

Bernadette: I'm so sorry to hear about your mom. I'll be praying.

If you (or anyone else who has trouble getting through the 800 line) want to send me your phone number by e-mail, I'll make sure you get a return call. Just drop me a note at hsaxton(at)christianword(dot)com.

Stephanie said...

I think I'll make one for our Easter celebration! TFS!!

Kelly said...

That is so beautiful! I think I might try it! My guess is mine will look a little more like what you described yours looking like! LOL!

Kate said...

I don't think Ive ever thought a loaf of bread looked quite this beautiful! Amazing Heidi!

Scribbit said...

I've always wanted to try one of these--they're just so pretty and colorful!

dani said...

I love this. Is it something I can make ahead of time and freeze?

dani said...

is this something I can make ahead and freeze? TFS!!

Heidi Hess Saxton said...

I'm not sure how well hard-boiled eggs in the shell freeze ... the bread would be okay, though. Perhaps you could insert the colored eggs after the bread is defrosted...