I love surprising my family with freshly baked Easter bread Easter morning. It just belongs to my festive holidays rituals just like Maamoul cookies and Kaik bi haleeb (both recipes are in my book). The soft dough is studded with sultanas and flavoured with rum, and baked in a spring form. The recipe is guaranteed success if you follow the instructions and allow the dough to rise twice. The sugar glazing is whipped in no time if using, as it tastes equally delicious when brushed with melted butter only.
German Easter Bread
- for the dough
- 560 g all-purpose flour
- 100 g sugar
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons rapid-rise dry yeast
- 3 eggs
- 2-½ tablespoons rum
- 100 g melted butter
- 125 ml lukewarm milk
- 100 g raisins
- for the glazing
- 1 tablespoon melted butter
- 100 g confectioners’ sugar
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 tablespoon rum
- Grease a 26-cm spring form pan with little butter.
- Rinse the raisins in a small sieve. Drain well and mix with little four to coat the raisins. Set aside for later use.
- In a small cup mix the yeast with one teaspoon sugar and 3 tablespoons from the lukewarm milk. Cover with a saucer and let rise.
- In a mixing bowl combine 500 g of the flour, sugar and salt. You will add the rest of the flour towards the end. Pour in the yeast mixture, the rest of the lukewarm milk and the melted butter. Using a stand mixer or a hand mixer with dough hooks, beat on low speed for 2 minutes to combine all ingredients. Add the eggs and rum and beat on high until all ingredients are well combined. Gradually add the rest of the flour while still beating. The dough will be a bit sticky. Add the drained and floured sultanas and beat one minute until the sultanas are fully incorporated into the dough.
- Transfer the dough onto a slightly floured surface, and continue kneading until the dough becomes smooth and elastic about 6-8 minutes. You might still need to add little flour. Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover with a clean towel. Allow to rise in a warm quiet place for 2 hours or until dough doubles in size.
- Transfer dough to the prepared spring form. Using a sharp knife score the top of the loaf by making 4 cuts on the diagonal from edge to edge. Then slash another 4 cuts on the other direction to form a crisscross pattern. Cover and let rise for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven at 170°C/340°F. Bake for 30 minutes. Lower heat to 160°C/320°F and continue baking for about 15 minutes, or until nicely golden in colour. Remove from the oven and transfer onto a rack. Brush while still warm with the melted butter. Allow to cool and brush with sugar glazing if using. Enjoy for Easter breakfast or with your afternoon tea.
- To make the sugar glazing: in a small bowl mix the sugar, water and rum until smooth.