Sunday, April 27, 2014

DB: Mama Pia’s Easter Bread

The April Daring Baker’s Challenge was hosted by Wolf of Wolf’s Den . She challenged us to Spring into our kitchens and make Easter breads reflecting cultures around the world.

I have wanted to make an "Easter bread" for a long time now, but for some reason or another I haven't gotten the opportunity to make it when the season began to approach.  Well, this year, all that changed.  Our April Daring Bakers challenge was to do just that, to make an Easter bread.  We were given a few choices, and I decided to make Mama Pia's Easter bread from Stanley Tucci.

I was beyond excited when I learned what the challenge was.  There's something that screams spring and Easter to me about a bread that has eggs baked into the dough.  I guess since Easter eggs are a major part of the holiday, having whole hard boiled eggs in a bread is beyond festive. 


This bread isn't a traditional bread, it's more of a quick bread in that it doesn't call for yeast and doesn't require a rise time.  It comes together very quickly.  Simply combine the ingredients, form a log and form a circle.  Place the remaining eggs on the top of the circle, secure with a little dough and bake.  Once the bread is cooked and completely cooled a sweet glaze is drizzled over the top and it's ready to go! 

This would make a delicious option for breakfast but would be equally as good for a dessert.  If you haven't made an Easter bread yet I strongly urge you to do so and I recommend making this one!

Mama Pia's Easter Bread

Ingredients:

for the dough-
9 Large eggs, room temperature
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 Tsp vanilla extract
4 Cups all-purpose flour
1/2 Tsp salt
4 Tsp baking powder
12 Tbsp butter, softened and cut into cubes

For the glaze-
1 1/2 Cups powdered sugar
2 Tbsp milk
1/2 Tsp lemon extract

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350.

In a large bowl combine 6 eggs, sugar and vanilla and whisk until frothy and pale yellow in color.  Set aside.

In a separate bowl combine flour, salt and baking powder and whisk to combine.  Add the butter and mix until coarse crumbs form, resulting in a sand-like texture.

Slowly combine the egg mixture to the flour mixture and mix until combined.  Adding the flour, a half a cup at a time, until a sticky dough is formed.  Turn the dough out on a floured work surface, the outside of the dough should be smooth while this inside is sticky.  Form the dough into a log that is approximately 15 inches long and 2 inches in diameter.  Cut 1 to 1 1/2 inches off the end and set aside.  Place the log on a baking sheet or stone that has been lined with parchment paper and form into a circle, pinching the ends to seal.

At the joint place one of the raw eggs.  Place the other two eggs equal distances apart.  Take the remaining dough and cut into 6 equal strips.  Roll each piece into a thing strip and place an "X" shape over each egg, pinching the edges to the big circle to seal.

Place in the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes, until a skewer removed comes out clean and the edges are golden brown.  Remove and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

For the glaze-
Combine the sugar, milk and lemon extract and whisk to combine until smooth.  Drizzle over the cooled bread, allow to set for 5 minutes and serve.

Recipe source: The Tucci Cookbook

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