Cardamon Easter Bread
Happy Healthy Holidays!
Bake up a batch of Easter morning cardamon bread, sweetened with plump juicy raisins. Pretty, bright colored Easter eggs decorate.
2 teaspoons dry yeast
5 ounces warm water (110 degrees)
1/3 cup granulated sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
2/3 cup warm milk
4 eggs at room temperature
5 tablespoons butter at room temperature
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
6-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground cardamon
1 cup golden raisins
6 eggs colored with bright dyes
Mix yeast and warm water. Set aside. Whisk sugar, warm milk, eggs, soft butter, and oil together in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
Put flour, salt and ground cardamon in a bowl of a stand alone mixer, stir to combine. Pour yeast mixture and egg mixture into dry ingredients. Mix on first speed until dough comes together, scraping bowl often. Mix on speed 2 for a few minutes until dough smooths out. It will still be very "gloppy". Place raisins on top of dough and allow the dough to rest for 20 minutes. (This is the autolyse.)
After autolyse, knead in raisins and bring together until smooth (2 to 3 minutes on 2nd speed). Let dough rise 1-1/2 hours, then chill for 1 to 2 hours.
Divide dough into 6 equal pieces, make ropes; twist together and form a ring, leaving an opening in the middle. Place round loaves on parchment lined baking sheets. Let shaped loaves rise until almost double in volume, then press in two colored, uncooked eggs. Brush dough with egg white wash around the eggs. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Place pans of bread into oven then mist with water from a "plant mister" 8 to 10 times. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce temperature to 350 degrees. Bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. The loaves should be rotated to different racks in the oven half way through baking. Cool loaves on wire racks.
Glaze: In a small bowl whisk together 1 cup powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons milk. When the loaves are cool drizzle with glaze.
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Medieval records note that eggs were often given as Easter gifts to servants by their masters. What is known is that the egg, like the rabbit, was a symbol of renewal of life and therefore a logical symbol for the celebration of Easter.