Saturday, March 22, 2008

easter egg bread

This traditional bread comes from Greece and Italy. It is by far my most favorite Easter Recipe. It's a great way to use up some of those died eggs, it looks great and of course tastes delicious!

Preparation Time: 30 minutes plus rising
Baking Time: 35-40 minutes
Makes 10-12 servings

4 to 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 envelope (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
3/4 cup hot milk (120F-130F)
1/4 cup hot water (120F-130F)
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, softened
2 large eggs
5 hard-cooked eggs, colored
Vegetable oil

Place 1 cup flour, sugar, salt and yeast in a large bowl; mix well. Add milk, water and butter. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until combined. Beat on medium-high speed for 1 minute. Add the 2 uncooked eggs; beat until well combined. Stir in enough remaining flour until a soft dough forms.

Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, 6-8 minutes. Place dough in a greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover; let rise in a warm place until almost double in size, about 45 minutes.

Grease a baking sheet. Punch down dough. Place dough on a lightly floured surface. Divide dough in half. Roll each piece into a 30-inch rope. Loosely twist ropes together.

Shape twisted ropes into a ring, about 12 inches in diameter, on prepared baking sheet; press ends to seal. Rub colored eggs lightly with oil. Place eggs in spaces between twists. Cover; let rise until almost double in size, about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350F. Uncover dough; bake bread ring until golden, 35-40 minutes. Remove from baking sheet; cool completely on a wire rack.

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