Easter is right around the corner. Have you planned your menu yet? If not, you might want to consider adding European Easter Bread, to your table. It’s filled with many of the things people have given up for Lent like carbs and butter. There are many recipes for this bread out there that offer slight variations. Every country seems to have their own version. But today I’m going to offer up a recipe for braided egg bread from About.com. The Czechs call it houska. Those of Jewish descent call it challah. Whatever it’s name, its delicious.
- 1-cup milk, slightly warmed
- 1 stick of butter
- 2 pkgs dry, active yeast
- 5 1/2-cups flour
- 1-cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4-cup water
- 3 eggs
- 1-cup raisins, golden
- Combine warmed milk, butter, sugar, and salt in a saucepan. Stir well then allow to cool.
- In a large bowl, combine yeast and warm water. The paddle attachment on a standing mixer usually works best. Mix until the yeast is completely dissolved. Then slowly pour in the milk, butter, sugar, and salt mixture you prepared above. Add two eggs and combine everything thoroughly.
- Add the flour little by little until completely combined. Once the dough is sticky, add in the raisins.
- Move dough to a greased bowl and let sit covered with plastic wrap in a warm place for about an hour. The dough should rise to about double.
- Turn dough out onto a lightly floured board or counter. Cut into three pieces. Roll out each piece until it is about 14-inches long:
- Overlap all three pieces on one end and begin to braid. Do this until you’ve used up the length of all three pieces. Tuck in both ends to secure. Cover with plastic wrap loosely and let sit for another hour until the dough has risen double again.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush the dough lightly with a beaten egg. Bake for 30 minutes.
- Allow to cool completely before serving.
Sure, it’s a bit time consuming but one glance at the finished product and you just know you have to make this for Easter this year.