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  • Nicole Cook

Sweet Easter Bread



Cook Time: 30 Minutes

Prep Time: 20 Minutes

Time for Dough to Rise: 2 hours


Ingredients:

3/4 cup sugar plus 1 tbsp

1 tbsp dry active yeast

5 1/2 cups flour

1 tsp salt

1/2 cup cold unsalted butter cut into cubes

5 eggs

1 tsp lemon extract


Instructions:

  1. In a small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon sugar and ¼ cup warm water. Slowly add the dry yeast over the mixture, stir just until combined. Allow to sit for 10 minutes until foamy.

  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, salt, and cubed butter. Mix on low speed to combine. Add in 4 eggs, remaining 3/4 cup sugar, ¾ cup warm water, lemon extract, and yeast mixture. Mix on low speed to combine. Mixture will be slightly wet. Switch to dough hook. Mix on medium-low speed for about 10 minutes. You may need to add additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time during mixing if the dough feels too wet. You want to knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic and tacky, but not sticky.

  3. Coat a large bowl with cooking spray. Shape dough into a ball, put into the bowl and turn to coat with the cooking spray. Cover the bowl lightly with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm draught free area for about 2 hours or until dough has doubled in size.

  4. Adjust rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place parchment paper on an upside down baking sheet. Knead (by hand) the dough a few times to get the air out. You can now separate the dough into 2 or 3 portions, depending how many loafs you want to make (separating in 2 will make 2 larger, separating in 3 with make 3 slightly smaller). You can shape each one into circles slightly flattened, or you can braid the dough, whatever you like (I separate my dough into 3 equal parts for 3 separate loafs. Then I separate each third into 3 and roll those pieces into long string like shapes, then braid them). Place on the parchment paper.

  5. Using the last egg, beat it with a fork in a small bowl. Using a brush coat each loaf with egg.

  6. Bake for 30-35 minutes (about 30 minutes for 3 loafs and 35 minutes for 2 loafs) until the top is golden brown and there is a hollow sound when tapped. Set aside to cool.

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