It’s coming up to Easter and that makes me think of home baked Easter Bread. Virtually every European country has Easter bread of one sort or another. I have tested and tried; tried and tested and have come up with a few rules of thumb:
1. The dough for Easter Bread is rather like a brioche dough: Basic Bread dough is enhanced with sugar, butter, and eggs – for a real blow out after those long weeks of lent-induced denial
2. It is filled or covered with dried fruit, marzipan, nuts, poppy seeds, and/or spices
3. It is fancy: in a twist or a braid, or baked in an elaborate pan (the Germans have a lamb-shaped pan but I cannot go there, somehow – imagine eating its little head.)
4. There are endless variations
Out of the many I have tried and tested over the past several weeks, I have decided on two recipes. One happens to have marzipan and poppy seeds and is in a twist shape; the other happens to have marzipan, apricots, and poppy seeds and is in a braid shape. The exact measurements are slightly different but the basic ingredients are, on the whole, the same. If you have a couple of hours in hand and you really want to impress your guests or take something lovely to your host/hostess over Easter -why not give one of these a try. You won’t regret it.