I’m being a bit cheeky with today’s post. Normally when I say ‘eating seasonally’, I mean according to what fruits and vegetables or even meats are ‘in season’. But there are foods that ‘go with’ certain holidays, like potato salad and Independence Day (for Americans), turkey and Thanksgiving (or Christmas if you’re British), boiled eggs and Easter; so why not refer to an ‘Easter Season’? I’m particularly fond of Easter Bread, which is nutritious and fun while making a break from chocolate, and is an attractive showpiece or twelve. And it’s not nearly as difficult to make as it looks.
I’m also cheating, in that I’m giving you the original recipe, without any modifications of my own. I cut out this recipe from an American Girl (Girl Scouts) magazine circa 1975, and have made it a few times since, though not always with the same dough recipe. You can use any bread dough, though I would recommend a sweet bread dough–one which includes both dairy and sugar in the list of ingredients, like a brioche or pain viennois, to make it special. Adjust times and temperatures to your bread dough recipe, but take guidance based on the size of the shapes you’re making and the need to have fully cooked eggs in the end. Be aware that the baskets take less time than the wreath in the oven, but if your oven temperature is too low or time too short, the eggs won’t be fully cooked.
So, with due reference to the editors of American Girl*, here is their basic recipe (Just click on the image and it will pop up in its own window, nice and clear to read. Click on the back arrow to come back to this page.):
Note the last two sentences of the recipe: Once your dough has done its initial raising, choose whether to use 2/3 of it for a wreath and the remaining 1/3 for 4 baskets OR to use it all for 12 baskets.
Here’s a picture of how to construct the wreath:
And a picture of how to construct the baskets:
And the wordy explanation of both, together with baking instructions:
A word to the wise: It is VITAL to grease your raw eggs before putting them in the proving dough, and if you forget then, you absolutely MUST grease them before baking. (Obviously, you only get one chance with the baskets.) It would be a shame to be unable to eat every last bit of your lovely bread because eggshell was irretrievably baked onto it. Says the voice of experience!
*If you have access to the copyright, please let me know so I can properly get permission to use this recipe in the public domain! I promise I am not making any profit from it.