Friday, April 6, 2012

Easter Bread

So why is this called an Easter Bread? Here is a little history behind this Easter Bread that is REALLY good!

Festive breads tend to play a big role in many religious holidays and seasonal celebrations. These festive type breads tend to have eggs, lots of butter, candied fruits or exotic spices. They are not your fast breads but your Bosch Universal Plus Mixer definitely plays a great role in making them fast. :) If I had followed the instructions (making it by hand) this would have been a 6 hour process! I soooo love my Bosch Mixer. I only had to dump the ingredients in the Bosch bowl; knead it for 6 minutes; let it rest for 10 minutes and then form the dough. I went back about 45 minutes later to the risen dough and brushed the topping on...then baked it. Total time? 3 hours! The Bosch mixer cut my time in this why I LOVE my Bosch Universal mixer.

Okay, once again I digressed from the history of this festive Easter Bread. This crunchy sweet Easter bread was originally from Bologna, one of the capital cities of Emilia Romagna region which is the northern region of Italy. This traditional bread is representative of the unity of family due to the ring shape that has been twisted and wove together as a family is to represent. Due to its wonderful flavor, it is becoming more common to get this festive bread year round.

Breads are so fun and interesting AND tasty. I hope you enjoy this bread as much as our family did/does. Without further a due, onto the recipe!

An Italian bread from the Bread cookbook

2 tsp. SAF Yeast (Click here)
1/2 cup lukewarm milk (110 degrees)
4 1/2 cups whole white wheat flour (Click here)
2 tsp salt
1/3 cup honey
3 grated lemon zest
9 Tbs butter (softened)
3 eggs beaten
1/2 cup water

4 tsp ground cinnamon
3 Tbs. raw sugar
1/4 cup toasted, chopped almonds
1 egg yolk

Step One:
Place all bread ingredients in your Bosch Universal Mixer. Knead 6 minutes on speed one. Let rest for 10 minutes.

Step Two:
Divide into two equal parts. Make these into 16" long ropes and twist together. Pinch the two ends together; sealing them. Place on greased stainless steel baking sheet. Let double in size.

Ciambella Mandorlata Bread

Step Three:

Mix topping together. Use pastry brush (Click here!) and spread the mixture evenly over the top of the ring. Bake 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on cooling rack.

Note from Paula: I am sorry that I don't have a picture of putting the topping on the raised dough. I totally forgot to get the camera out during this stage. :( It is very simple to do. Trust me!

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