Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Bread Baking Day #8 - Russian Easter Bread


As my final pre-Easter creation, I have decided to contribute to Bread Baking Day, which this month is hosted by Susan at Wild Yeast, with a theme of Celebration Breads.

Initially, I thought of making hot cross buns, a traditional Good Friday treat, as I have never made them before and I love them. However, I was feeling a little extra daring, and instead, I have made Russian Easter Bread. In addition to the traditional shaped loaf featured at the top of this post, I reserved some of the dough and made four little buns as gifts to go with the marshmallow bunnies that are still surviving. These buns are pictured at the foot of this post.

The recipe that I used for the Russian Easter Bread can be found here at Taste.com.au. I found this recipe really easy to follow, and it went off relatively hitch-free. However, I did need more than an extra cup of flour than the recipe suggested, and my decorative eggs stayed stubbornly un-coloured, even though I upped the ante with the food colouring substantialy to the one teaspoon stated. The only changes that I made to the recipe were to replace the sultanas and lemon rind with mixed dried fruit left over from Christmas, and to glaze the finished bread with sugar syrup to imitate the stickiness of hot cross buns. (Note that the finished bread is shiny from the egg glaze without the sugar syrup.) I also used fewer decorative eggs, because I made a smaller loaf (due to the buns). I shaped the buns using the same method as for French petit pains, and slashed the top of each bun with a cross.

Interestingly, I subsequently found that, despite the title of the recipe that I used, my bread looks nothing like a traditional Russian Easter Bread, known as Kulich. Oh well, it was fun to make, and looks good.

I hope that this bread tastes as good as it looks - I am taking it to work for morning tea tomorrow. Fingers crossed!

The roundup of celebration breads appears here at Wild Yeast.

I will be taking a break from blogging for a week or so over the Easter break, so this will be my last post for a little while. I wish you all a fantastic Easter, and hope you are able to enjoy a break to celebrate the season.


30 comments:

Elly said...

Your bread looks great, and exactly like a Greek Easter bread called tsoureki. I plan to make my first one this year so hopefully it turns out looking as nice as yours!

Gretchen Noelle said...

Lovely easter bread! Enjoy your "break" and hope you have a very Happy Easter!

Peter M said...

It's no surprise that us Greeks have a similar Easter bread, Tsoureki.

Cakelaw said...

Thanks Elly, I noticed that when I was Googling. Could Taste have mixed up their origins??

Thanks Gretchen. Wishing you a happy Easter too!

Hi Peter, I saw that in my travels. Me suspects that there may be a mixup - or else the Russians and the Greeks have a lot in common at Easter!

giz said...

Why have I never seen your blog before? Have you been hiding? I gotcha now - you're on my feed :).
Lovely bread and thanks for stopping by our blog.

Maryann said...

Hi Cakelaw!-Italians make a very similar bread for Easter. Braided sweet bread with hard boiled eggs weaved in :)

StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

Cakelaw, I think that many cultures have their own version of "Easter Bread" which are all probably very similar, except for presentation, maybe. Yours looks lovely! I would break off a piece any day.

Have a peaceful and happy Easter.

Cakespy said...

Send me a piece! This looks just lovely (the bread) and the hot cross buns (Or so I would call them?) look excellent. ;-)

Rosie said...

This is wonderful Easter bread what a great bake!!

Wishing you a very Happy Easter!

Rosie x

Emiline said...

Lovely! I think Russian Easter bread sounds great. I've never had it, myself.
I'm still trying to figure out what I'm going to make for Easter.

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

This looks great! :)
I love how cute they are!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

That's amazing. My Italian grandmother used to make Easter sweet bread just like this one with the whole eggs baked right in. Thanks for teaching me something new and delicious!

Barbara said...

It looks fabulous. I've seen those recipes with the eggs baked in the bread and thought it looked to daunting to try.

Cakelaw said...

Thanks Giz - Happy Easter!

Hi Maryann, will have to research the Italin version - this was fun to make.

Thanks Susan - wishing you and your family a happy Easter too.

Thanks Cakespy! A virtual piece is on its way.

Happy Easter to you too Rosie.

Hi Emiline, I had never tried it before either. You will come up with something amazing, I'm sure - I am not creative.

Thanks Jenn.

Thanks Susan - would love to chekc out the Italian version.

Thanks Barbara, I always thought the same, but last night, it was a case of "fools rush in", and luckily, it worked.

Arfi Binsted said...

Gaye, the bread looks lovely! I meant to bake something for Easter but then next week is our wedding anniversary, I must do something special. I can't do both although it is a week apart hehehe (an excuse).

Cakelaw said...

I know exactly what you mean Arfi. And happy anniversary!

Susan said...

The bread looks very festive and lovely, whatever color the eggs! Thank you for joining BreadBakingDay this month.

Pixie said...

I love this! Haven't had a bread like this in years. Well done!

Suzana said...

This bread looks really cute and it's surely delicious! We have a similar Easter bread in Portugal I plan to bake next Saturday.

Happy Easter!

Cakelaw said...

Thanks for hosting this month Susan - a very timely theme!

Thanks Pixie - it was fun to make (maybe because my yeast behaved!).

Hi Suzana - thanks. I will look out for your bread with interest.

Laurie Constantino said...

Elly and Peter are right - this looks a lot like tsoureki. There's a lot of Russians in Alaska and for Easter what they make is a bread called Kulich - it's usually made in a coffee can, so is very tall. In any case, Happy Easter and enjoy your time off!

Cakelaw said...

Happy Easter to you too Laurie,

Cheers

Cakelaw

Ivy said...

Hope you've had a Great Easter time and relaxed. Our Easter will be in a month's time so we will be making our Easter tsoureki soon.

Cakelaw said...

Thanks Ivy, my Easter was lovely. I am away on holidays at present, so I am still relaxing!

Swati: Sugarcraft India said...

Lovely easter bread !! Enjoy your break and see ya soon!!

Cakelaw said...

Thanks Swati - back soon now.

SaraLynn said...

I love it! It came out so pretty!!

Cakelaw said...

Thanks Saralynn!

Y said...

I was going to put some dried fruit in my bread too, but didn't have any at the time, so just used some spices instead. Wonder why the eggs didn't take up the dye? Eggs were another thing I was toying with adding, because I've never done that before.

Cakelaw said...

Hi Y, It is a mystery - I'd love to know why I couldn't make "pretty eggs".