Thursday, April 9, 2009

Easter Egg Bread

This recipe is a favorite in my husband's family.  My MIL brought the recipe out and is making it for us while visiting this week.

(Pane di Pasqua all' Uovo)

2 pkgs. active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1 cup all purpose flour
2/3 cup water
3/4 cup butter or margerine
1 Tbsp. grated lemon peel
1 1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
2 eggs, well beaten
3 1/4 to 4 1/4 cups flour
6 colored eggs (uncooked)
1/4 to 1/2 cup maraschino cherries (optional)
1.  Soften yeast in the warm water in a bowl.  Mix in the 1 cup flour, then the 1/3 cup water.  Beat until smooth.  Cover; let rise in warm place until doubled (about 1 hour).
2.  Cream butter with lemon peel and juice (and cherries if desired) .  Mix in sugar and salt.  Add beaten eggs in halves, beating thoroughly after each addition.
3.  Add yeast mixture and beat until blended.  Add about half of the remaining flour and beat thoroughly.  Beat in enough flour to make a soft dough.
4.  Knead on floured surface until smooth.  Put into a greased deep bowl; turn dough to bring greased surface to top, Cover; let rise in warm place until doubled.
5.  Punch down dough; divide into thirds.  Cover; let rest about 10 minutes.
6.  With hands, roll and stretch each piece into a roll about 26 inches long and 3/4 inch thick.  Loosely braid rolls together.  On a lightly greased baking sheet or jelly-roll pan shape into a ring; pressing ends togehter.  At even intervals, gently spread dough apart and tuck in a colored egg.  Cover; let rise again until doubled.
7.  Bake at 375 Farenheit about 30 minutes.  During baking check bread for borwing, and when sufficiently browned, cover loosely with foil.  
8.  Transfer to wire rack.  If desired, spread a confectioners' sugar icing over top of warm bread.

Makes one large wreath

From 1001 Great Recipes from Around the World (apparently out of print)

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