I'm pretty excited for Easter. It's a wonderful, purposeful celebration of love, sacrifice, and life.
And the food. Let's not try to lie here, friends. I am religious. I am spiritual. I do celebrate the life, death, and resurrection of Christ.
But the food!
What is it about Easter that recommends peanut butter dipped in chocolate? Marshmallow everything, and sweet breads? I don't know, but I like it.
As a little girl, we would always go to the Italian Aunties' for Easter. They would give us enormous Easter baskets, filled to the brim with all the sorts of candy my mother would never let us take home. So it became an Easter tradition: my sister and I would eat the entire contents of our lovingly gifted baskets in one weekend, usually in one day. And before we drove home - three long, sickening hours - we would wait to see who got sick first. Whoever did was the lucky winner. "Lucky?" Oh, yes. Whomever didn't make it to the [one] bathroom in the house had to go to the outhouse by the garden to be sick. I remember distinctly one year, sitting on the mottled carpet steps, my head leaning against the cool papered wall, willing myself to hold on just a little ... while ... longer. I was sure my sister was almost finished in there - she had to be! - and I could avoid the trip to the outhouse.
Whoever thought it was a good idea to fill a basket with candy and give it to someone who would make themself sick, year after year?? We turned out to be intelligent women, after all. [I put games and coloring books in my girls' baskets.]
At home, we had two traditional Easter treats. Peanut Butter Easter Eggs (think Reese's, but better), and Easter Bread. As an adult, I've stuck to my childhood promise that I would make them more than once a year. Tomorrow morning, we're choosing our colors for the dyed eggs and will take Little Chick reading breaks while we wait for the colors to ripen. I'll post pictures as we come along...
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup flour
- 1 ½ tablespoons yeast
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups flour
- Golden raisins
|Resist the urge to add too many nuts and raisins, which you should |
knead in by hand. (Too many will make your ropes rough and fragile.)
Dough will not be sticky, but lovely and smooth like this.
|Finished with the first rise.|
|Make two 24" ropes. Start with both hands flat in the middle and |
roll to the outside edges until desired length is reached.
|Cross one over the top.|
|Cross the new top piece over the bottom. |
Continue to the end of your ropes.
|Circle the braided ropes around and tuck in your ends.|
Place on a baking sheet.
|Insert colored eggs into the crosses to make "nests". (Number|
of eggs can vary - depends on how many twists are in your bread.)
|Notice the difference: pre-rise #2...|
|...post rise #2.|
|Alternately, you can make 4-6 individual |
breads with a single egg in the middle.
- 1 teaspoon butter
- +/- 3 tablespoons milk (to desired consistency, and I usually use heavy cream to start, and use milk to thin)
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar