Easter is so early this year and we still had winter temperatures and even some snow here in Croatia until about a week ago and at the same time I have been so busy with different project, workshop organisation and everything else that I feel like I’m not ready like I was last year. I was posting Easter recipes weeks before the holiday (like this colourful Spring salad with roasted asparagus and quail eggs or this decadent Swedish chocolate cake (GF) and now it’s just days until Easter and I’m posting one and only Easter recipe. But it’s a good one so that’s all that matters, right? 😀
This Braided sweet Easter bread is something that I make every year for Easter. It’s very similar to sweet Easter bread called ‘Pinca’ in Croatian and it’s in a different shape, the recipe is just a bit different but both breads are so delicious and there are years when I actually make both.
Those of you who are following me here on my blog know already that I tend to avoid dairy and that most of my recipes are dairy-free. In short, I healed my body from lots of digestion and other gut-related issues by changing the way I eat and one of those changes was removing most of the dairy products (milk, yoghurt, cream, soft cheese…) from my diet. Now that I am well I do occasionally eat some of those products, mostly for holidays like Christmas and Easter. There is something so special about those buttery Christmas cookies and the smell of freshly baked sweet Easter bread eaten with a thin layer of butter and possibly some jam too! I love it so much and I am very grateful that I can enjoy it on these special days, I am happy to eat mostly dairy-free the rest of the year (I mean, I LOVE my coconut butter and coconut oil and all other amazing healthy food!).
This bread is just slightly sweet and I made it even a bit less sweet by using xylitol sugar rather than regular granulated sugar, lemon zest gives it this beautiful aroma and it’s just a prefect bread to use both in sweet and savoury combinations. Typically in Croatia we would enjoy it for Easter breakfast with ham, cheese, boiled eggs, spring onions and radishes and horseradish sauce but this time I styled it and enjoyed it in sweet combination with butter and strawberry jam and a lovely cup of strong black tea. Both versions work really well so you can choose your favourite!
Recipe in English:
- 3 + ⅓ cups (500 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp dry yeast
- 2 eggs
- pinch of salt
- ¼ cup (50 g) butter
- ¼ cup (50 g) sugar, I sed xylitol sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (or 1 sachet vanilla sugar)
- ¾ cup + 2 tbsp (200 ml) milk, I used oat milk
- 1 lemon zest
- 1 egg white (for 'egg wash')
- 1 tbsp sugar for sprinkling on top
- Note: 1 cup = 250 ml
- In a large mixing bowl combine flour with yeast, add sugar, vanilla, melted butter, whisked eggs, pinch of salt and grated lemon zest. Stir well.
- Heat up the milk to be warm and use it to knead the dough until it's smooth and elastic.
- Place dough into large bowl and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Allow to rise in a warm place for approx. 2 hours.
- Transfer dough to a lightly floured cutting board. Knead and divide it into 2 parts, one part should be ⅓rd of the dough and other part ⅔rd.
- Form 2 logs and flatten them slightly with your hands. With a sharp knife, in each log separate the dough into three strings. Make sure to leave the upper part intact.
- Beginning from the top, carefully braid dough into a loaf.
- Place smaller (thinner) braid on top of the larger one and tightly seal loose ends.
- Transfer braid to a lined baking sheet. Cover and allow to rise in a warm place for approx. 45 min.
- Preheat oven to 180 C / 356 F.
- Brush the bread with egg white and sprinkle with sugar.
- Transfer to oven and bake for approx. 45 min until golden.
- Enjoy for your Easter breakfast on any other occasion!
Recipe in Croatian / Recept na hrvatskom:
- 500 g psenicnog brasna
- 1 vrecica suhog kvasca
- 2 jaja
- prstohvat soli
- 50 g maslaca
- 50 g secera , ja sam koristila brezin secer
- 1 vanilin secer
- 200 ml mlijeka, ja sam koristila zobeno mlijeko
- naribana korica jednog limuna
- 1 bjelanjak za premazivanje
- 1 zlica secera za posipanje
- U vecoj posudi pomijesajte brasno i kvasac, zatim dodajte secer, vanilin secer, rastopljeni maslac, prethodno razmucena jaja, sol i limunovu koricu.
- Promijesajte i toplim mlijekom umijesite glatko tijesto.
- Stavite tijesto u posudu i prekrijte ga cistom kuhinjskom krpom, ostavite da se diza oko 2 sata.
- Tijesto lagano premijesite i podijelite na dva dijela, jedan dio neka bude od ⅓ tijesta, a drugi dio od ⅔ tijesta.
- Obadva komada tijesta oblikujte duguljasto i svaki komad zarezite po duljini.
- Ostavite tijesto spojeno na vrhu i ispletite dvije pletenice.
- Polozite uzu pletenicu na siru, spojite krajeve i ostavite rasti jos 45 minuta.
- Zagrijte pecnicu na 180 C.
- Premazite kruh bjelanjcem i pospite ga secerom.
- Neka se pece oko 45 minuta dok ne dobije zlatno-smedju boju.
- Uzivajte za vas Uskrsni dorucak ili za bilo koju drugu priliku!
- Dobar tek!
Hope you’ll try out this recipe, please let me know if you do, I always love hearing from you! Happy Easter everybody!
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Beautiful photo 🙂
Thank you very much! <3