This recipe is courtesy of Grains of Earth!
I put myself in charge of Easter dinner this year because I had a ton of new recipes I wanted to try out! While everything turned out delicious, this Ukranian Easter bread was my pride and joy. It turned out so perfect. Yes, that is a whole duck egg in the middle. The great thing about this bread is you can make it for anything - just leave the egg out of the middle. It won't compromise the bread shape and you can save it for Easter, to make it special.
2 1/4 tsp yeast
1 1/2 cups milk
pinch of salt
1/3 cup salted butter
1/2 cup sugar
3 1/2 cups (approx.) flour
1 egg, beaten with 1 tsp water
6 eggs, dyed or not (your choice)
- In a small saucepan, warm the milk and butter together, just until the butter is melted.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine yeast, salt, eggs and sugar. Add the warm (too hot and it will kill the yeast) milk mixture.
- Add one cup of flour, mixing in between, until the dough is smooth and no longer sticky. You may end up using more than 3 1/2 cups of flour; that's fine.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth.
- Placed in a greased, covered bowl, and let rise for 1 hour.
- Punch dough down and divide into 12 pieces. Roll the pieces out into 1-inch thick ropes about 14 inches long. Taking two pieces, pinch ends together and braid, then form into a loop and pinch together.
- Lining a baking sheet with greased aluminum foil, place braided circles on it.
- Once you've braided all of your loops, cover the sheet and let rise for 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- When the circles are done rising, brush with the egg wash. Place a whole, raw egg in the middle of each circle. The egg will bake through in the oven. Sprinkle the circles with pearl sugar as generously as you like.
- Bake for 20 minutes. Cool on a rack.
- NOTE: because of the eggs in the middle, this bread does need to be stored in a refrigerator. If you don't put the eggs in the middle, store it like any other bread!