Well I am loving bread making, but I’ve only made savoury breads (no complaints about this) and wanted to try my hand at something sweeter. I thought that an Easter Bread would be perfect after seeing them everywhere. I will admit that I am a novice at yeast breads and this one did not come together as attractively as I would’ve liked it to but it was delicious and I made some outrageously delicious french toast from it, so no problems here.
UPDATE: Check out the new process photos. I finally made a pillowy-perfect loaf. I am thrilled. And check out the Kale and Feta Braid I made from this lovely dough!
I am going to try another similar bread soon and see if I can get my kneading technique down. As you can see here and in the finished loaf, the crumb was small and it was not nearly stretchy enough for my tastes. I will figure it out, it is sure fun trying things!
- 3 3/4 – 4.5 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup butter
- 2 eggs
- 2 tbsp active dried yeast
- 3/4 cup milk, just warmed
- 1/2 cup + 2 tbs sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cardamom (my favourite sweet spice right now)
- 1 beaten egg, sprinkle of sugar
1. Lightly stir the yeast with the milk and a large pinch of sugar, leave until it starts to foam. Whisk the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl then stir in the cardamom.
2. Melt the butter and sugar together until the sugar has disolved (or mostly). Let cool.
Getting ready for the full combination.
3. Whisk the eggs in with the yeast mixture.
4. Add the melted butter mixture and the yeast mixture to the flour. Mix to combine, until a dough has formed that pulls away from the bowl.
5. Knead the dough vigorously for 8-10 minutes on a lightly floured surface. The dough is ready when it feels soft, springy, and smooth and leaves a thumbprint when pressed.
4. Shape the dough into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with a clean, damp cloth and leave to rise until doubled in size (about 1 hour).
5. Knock back the dough on a clean surface by punching the air out and kneading for 1 minute. Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces then roll each piece into sausages. Braid the dough and tuck the ends underneath.
6. Lift the braided loaf onto a parchment covered baking sheet, cover with a damp cloth then leave to rise for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until doubled in size.
7. Heat oven to 350 F. Brush the loaf with the beaten egg and sprinkle lightly with white sugar. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the loaf is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped underneath. Cool on a rack before slicing.
The dough is cleaning the bowl. Huzzah! Success!!!
Smooth and elastic, finally some wonderful success!
Mmm delicious and ready for french toast.