Author: Veronica Hilliard
In the past year I have been trying to become a better baker. Something Cassie is already really good at! And getting good at making breads has been a personal goal for me. Not long ago I was browsing Pinterest (read “wasting time”) and found this post from The Italian Dish. Oh, her food photography is to die for! Anyway, I’ve kept it in the back of my mind for Easter and, surprise! I remembered to do it! Our family is young so we’re still starting some family traditions. I think this will be one that sticks with us year after year.
I didn’t proof my yeast. I use it all the time so I know it works. And with modern packaging and collection methods, fresh yeast is unlikely to fail. I just threw it in with everything but instead of rapid rise like the recipe said, I used my active dry yeast that I buy in bulk and keep in a glass jar in the fridge.
I got everything mixed together and then begged my hubby to take this totally posed picture. He laughed at me but obliged. I almost scrapped it, but I’m trying to be better about accepting myself and letting my daughters see me in front of the camera, loving myself despite my perceived flaws. So there I am! Posed and proud.
One thing my mom taught me about bread is that you just keep putting flour in until “the dough won’t take any more.” This recipe called for approximately 3.5 cups of flour. Mine “took” 2 additional cups for a total of about 5.5 cups of flour! You just learn to let the dough talk to you. It’ll tell you how much it needs.
Then you put it in a greased bowl and cover it. This is when I love having my Misto*. Fill that baby up with oil of any flavor, give it a few pumps, and you have an oil mister with zero chemicals. Love it. Mine always has extra virgin olive oil in it. And I notice that I use way less oil this way.
Cover, and let the dough rise for an hour.
After The first rise. Look at that beauty!
I cut my dough into 8 pieces though it called for 12. And I probably should have tried to do 12 because my bread baskets turned out a little bigger than you’d want to eat at one sitting.
Twist the dough into braids. Tip: Let it sit for a minute so that the dough is workable. It has something to do with the gluten resting or something.
Then you make these pretty little baskets and let them rise, covered with a dish towel for another hour.
There’s nothing like a beautiful egg wash on bread. Make sure you have some fun sprinkles on hand! Then place a dyed RAW Easter egg in the middle of each basket. Be careful with the raw eggs, my hubby accidentally tried to crack and eat one thinking it was a hard boiled egg before I got a chance to use it. Oops! It made it to the egg wash.
Sharing Time: I am a Mormon.
Yes, we do celebrate Easter. We celebrate the Savior’s life and ministry everyday, but especially on Easter. This special time in the kitchen with my oldest daughter made an excellent object lesson for a discussion about the Savior. We talked about how after the Savior suffered and died for our sins, his body was placed in the tomb and then a big rock was rolled in front of the door. We put some sprinkles in the hole and then put the egg over the “door”. Then, when we removed the egg after it was baked, the sprinkles were gone! Just like Jesus’ body was gone. His friends were very sad. But he came visit his friends with a perfect body and showed them that he had been resurrected (come back to life!) to live forever with our Heavenly Father. And we can have that as a promise to us that if we make good choices and try to be good people like Jesus was. Just like the sprinkles make us happy and are sweet, Heavenly Father’s and Jesus’ promise to us that we can live with them again makes us happy and is sweet.
Bake at 350 degrees F for about 20 minutes.
Aren’t they beautiful and festive?!
These taste SO yummy. They are lightly sweet and were a major hit here. Will they grace your Easter table next year?
Recipe can be found HERE.
I also made some naturally dyed eggs the day before when I made our dinner. The blue is made with purple cabbage. Yeah, it turns BLUE! And the yellow is made with turmeric. I wish I’d had some beets for red and some onion skins for a rich brown but I forgot to buy beets and onions were too expensive in our tiny local grocery store. Nothing was wasted. After dying my eggs I made my daughter’s favorite, sauteed purple cabbage, rice, and teriyaki chicken, flavored with turmeric!
So how did you celebrate this Easter? Did you start any traditions this year?
*I received no compensation for my praise of the Misto. It’s THAT good. 🙂