Braided Easter Bread

Cooking With Kids

There is no better aroma than walking into the home with the smell of fresh bread baking in the oven. Making bread isn’t difficult as long as you have plenty of time to knead it, allow it to rest, rise, and braid. In preparation for Easter, I allow my Nanny Kids to help with all steps of making bread by measuring the ingredients, mixing the dough, kneading the dough, and finally braiding the Easter bread. I recommend dying some eggs before making the bread. But do not use hard boiled eggs. The Easter eggs will bake at the same time that the bread does. This makes a great Easter centerpiece and makes a great hostess gift for Easter Sunday dinner.

You Will Need:

2-1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour, Divided
1/4 Cup White Sugar
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 (.25 ounce) Packaged Active Yeast
2/3 Cup Milk
2 Tablespoons Butter
2 Eggs
3 to 5 Uncooked, Whole Eggs, Dyed if Desired
2 Tablespoons Butter
Colored Sprinkles (Optional)

Light Glaze Ingredients (Optional):

2 Cups Powdered Sugar
2 Tablespoons Milk
Colored Sprinkles

What to Do:

1. In a large bowl, combine 1 cup flour, sugar, salt, and yeast; stir well. Combine milk and butter in a small saucepan and heat until milk is warm and butter is softened but not melted.

2. Gradually add the milk and butter to the flour mixture; stirring constantly. Add two eggs and 1/2 cup flour; beat well. Add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Let the kids try to knead the bread and you can finish.

3. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour. Show the kids the size of the bread when first covered and ask them to see the difference in size after it has doubled.

4. Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into two equal size rounds; cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Roll each round into a long roll about 36 inches long and 1 1/2 inches thick. Using the two long pieces of dough, form a loosely braided ring, leaving spaces for the three to five colored uncooked eggs. Seal the ends of the ring together and use your fingers to slide the eggs between the braids of dough.

5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Place loaf on a buttered baking sheet and cover loosely with a damp towel. Place loaf in a warm place and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes. Brush risen loaf with melted butter.

6. Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Watch it carefully so not to overtake the bread.

7. Decorate the braided bread with light sugar and colors sprinkles if desired.

For Glaze (Optional):

1. While the bread is cooling whisk milk and powdered sugar together to make a thick paste.

2. Drizzle the icing on the bread, then top with sprinkles. (We added ours when bread was still warm and that melted. The kids love the melted colors saying it looks pretty).

Reference:

AllRecipes.com

Made and Photographed by Stephanie Felzenberg

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