This delectable Easter bread is a show stopping centrepiece that is sure to be a hit during your Easter brunch celebrations. It’s a fluffy and sweet bread with a brioche-like texture that’s dotted with juicy raisins and dates. It’s easy to make and the final product makes anybody look like a pro.
Braided Easter bread
- 2 tbsp Granulated sugar
- 7 g Active dry yeast
- 3/4 cup Warm milk
- 3 3/4 cup Plain flour
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1 cup Golden raisins
- 1/4 cup Dates (pitted and chopped)
- 1/2 cup cup Granulated sugar
- 2 Eggs (room temperature)
- 55 g Butter (melted butter)
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
- For the glaze:
- 1 Egg + 1 tbsp Milk
- Step 1 Soak raisins and dates in hot water for 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- Step 2 Add 2 tablespoons of sugar to 3/4 cup of warm milk, stir well until the sugar had dissolved. Sprinkle in yeast, stir and set it aside for 15 minutes for it to bubble up.
- Step 3 In a large bowl, beat together eggs and sugar for 5 minutes until the mixture turns pale yellow and the sugar has dissolved. Pour in the yeast mixture, vanilla extract and salt, whisk it in well.
- Step 4 Add in melted butte, raisins and dates, continue to mix.
- Step 5 Use a wooden spoon or your hands to stir in the flour, one cup at a time, mix the dough until it holds together. Scrape the dough out onto the work surface and knead until it is a soft. This should take about 5-8 minutes. If the dough is too sticky to handle, add more flour, one tablespoon at a time.
- Step 6 Transfer the dough to a lightly-oiled bowl, cover with cling film. Let the dough rise for 2 hours until it has doubled in volume.
- Step 7 Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Step 8 Lightly flour work surface, roll it into a log and then separate the dough into four equal pieces. Roll each of the four pieces into long strands (about 1.5 foot and 1 inch thick). Pinch the four strands together at one end. Think of the left strand as 1, next as 2, then 3 and the far right as 4. Take the left-hand strand (1) and move it to the right, over strands 2 and 3, then tuck it back under strand 3. Take the right-hand strand (4) and move it to the left over strands 3 and 1, then tuck it back under strand 1. Repeat this process until the end.
- Step 9 Place the dough onto the prepared baking sheet. In a small bowl whisk together egg and milk to make the glaze. Brush it all over the dough. Decorate with Easter chocolate eggs (optional). Let the braided dough rise for another 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 175 C. Bake for 25 minutes until golden brown.
- Step 10 Let the bread cool on a wire rack until just barely warm, slice and enjoy with your other Easter goodies.