Easter Egg Sweet Bread

Easter is almost here!  On Easter morning there is nothing like having a homemade sweet bread with eggs.  This bread is soft and sweet.  The addition of orange zest adds a citrus flavor.  There is a surprise on top, I won’t tell you now, you will see what it is at the end of the recipe.  Let’s get making some sweet dough….

Sweet dough Sponge

  • 1 Cup of scalded milk
  • 3 (1/4 0z) packages of dry yeast
  • 1 (1/4 oz) package of rapid rise yeast
  • 1  1/2 heavy Cup Flour

Let the milk cool down, until it is warm.  Check the temperature of the milk by dabbing a dot of milk to your wrist, just like testing for a baby bottle.  When it is not too hot feeling on your skin, the milk is the proper temp.

Mix all the ingredients together thoroughly.  Cover and left rise until double, in a warm place.  This will take 1 hour.  My kitchen is always cold, so I put my oven on 350 degrees, just to warm up the stovetop.  I shut off the oven and place the bowl on the stovetop.  I think the dough gets a better rise that way.  This process of using a portion of the flour, milk and yeast is called making a sponge.  Afer our sponge has doubled in size let’s add the rest of this recipe.SAM_0134

Cream together, using the paddle attachment:

  • 1/2 pound (8 0z) room temperature Butter
  • 1/2 heavy Cup Sugar
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • Zest of 1 Orange

Mix until well incorporated and fluffy.

  • 3 Eggs

Then add in the eggs, scrape down the bowl, and pinch off pieces of the sponge, a little at a time, and mix it into the butter mixture.  This will take about 3 minutes.

  • 1  1/2 heavy Cup Flour

On low speed, add in the remaining flour.

This dough will be very soft, generously flour your work table.  Knead the dough for 5 minutes.  Add extra flour to the table as needed so the dough doesn’t stick.

To knead, push down on dough, then turn and fold over.  Turn again, push, fold over, repeat.  Since this dough is so soft, it is a pleasure to knead.

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Let the dough rest, covered for 10 minutes.  While the dough is resting, zest another orange and mix with 1/2 Cup Sugar.  This is for the topping.

Divide the dough into 2 even pieces.  Flour your work table lightly, it will make it easier to roll into a ball.  Less flour and the dough will slightly stick to the table, so when we are rolling it into a ball with our hand the dough will have something to grip onto.  If you put too much flour, the ball of dough will slide around making it harder to achieve a nice round.

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Use the palm of your hand for shaping, with your fingertips turned under the dough to get a nice round.  Wow, my hands look so manly!  Yikes, sorry for the close-up!

Place the dough round onto a greased cookie sheet and flatten into a 7″ diameter circle.  You can do this with your hands or with a rolling pin.  Here is the surprise, that I was talking about:  Wash and dry 3 raw eggs, in their shells and push into the dough.

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Do the same with the other half of the dough.  Sprinkle them with the orange sugar.  Bake at 350 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes.  Check them after 20 minutes, if they are golden and spring back to the touch, they are done.

Let them cool down until warm, then replace the white eggs with………your pretty dyed Easter eggs!

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What an Easter breakfast!  Slice it between the eggs, so everyone gets an egg and portion of sweet bread.  Use those plain white eggs for egg salad.  The texture of the dough is soft when warm, then you get a slight citrus flavor from the orange zest.  The orange sugar topping gives it that crunch and another zing of orange.

I remember having this breakfast when I was a child.  I hope you make this an Easter tradition for your family.  Happy Easter!

Honey Crisp Dumpling with a Brown Sugar Honey Butter Sauce!

The Honey Crisp apple is one of my favorites, it is only available for a few months.  I love apple dumplings, so let’s take this wonderful fall apple and  enrobe it in a sweet pastry dough.  When they are baking it sure does remind  me of Autumn.  If you prefer a different apple, by all means use that!  Let’s get dumplin’ ing……

Sweet Pastry Dough

  •  1 lb plus 2 oz Flour (2 cups plus 2 Tblsp)
  • 1/3 Cup Sugar (heavy)
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 10 oz Butter, cold and cut up into pieces
  • 3 0z Crisco (6 Tblsp)
  • 3 Egg Yolks mixed with 1/3 Cup water

Put the first five ingredients into the bowl, using the paddle attachment until butter is pea sized.  Then add the egg yolk and water mixture, mix only until combined.

Refrigerate for an hour.

Meanwhile, let’s get our apples ready to be dumplinged!

  • 4 Medium Large Size Honey Crisp Apples
  • 4 Tblsp Butter
  • 4 Tblsp Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tblsp Cinnamon

Peel the apples and cut them in half.  Using a melon baller scoop out the seeds from both halves. (you can use a spoon)Place the butter in one of the halves of each apple and put a scoop of brown sugar into the other half.  Take the cinnamon and sprinkle over the apples.  You can use more cinnamon if you want, I am a cinnamon freak, so I used more!Now put the apples back together.  They will stay together because of the butter and brown sugar.

Take the dough out of the frig, cut it into 4 equal parts.  Roll out each piece into a round, the dough will be over a 1/4 inch thick.  Take one of the apples and place it in the middle of the dough, now just pat the dough around the apple.  This is the fun part, the dough forms great around the apple.  Keep rolling it in your hands so the dough is smooth over the apple.

Continue with the rest of the apples and dough, roll them into some cinnamon sugar.

Then place them on a greased cookie sheet.  Put them into the refrigerator for an hour, so the dough somewhat hardens.    Bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes.  While they are baking let’s make our sauce for these Honey Crisp Apple Dumplings.

Brown Sugar Honey Butter Sauce

  • 3/4 Stick of Butter
  • 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tblsp Honey or Maple Syrup
  • 1 Tblsp Cinnamon

Put all the ingredients into a small saucepan.  Stir with a wire whisk until the butter is melted.  Let it simmer on low for 5 minutes to melt down the sugar.  Stirring often.

When the dumplings are done. Put them on a pretty plate and top with the sauce.

With your first bite the crust is soooo… buttery, the apple is soft but not mushy and the sauce gives the dumpling that brown sugar, honey and cinnamon taste that wraps it all together.  I don’t have any vanilla ice cream (crap!) that would be the perfect accompaniment for this dumpling!  Make some tonight for dessert, it is a great way to celebrate Autumn!