Easter makes me think of Easter Bread

by Jane Mason Cooking & Eating

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.

Version One:  Marzipan and poppy seed twist

Version Two:  Marzipan, apricot, and poppy seed braid