Spiced Easter Wreath bread

Spiced Easter Bread Wreath

Spiced Easter Bread Wreath

This Easter bread wreath, with eggs baked on top, is a fun bread to make for the holiday. It is a tradition in many families.

I hadn’t made one in a long time, and when I went to find my recipe, I couldn’t locate it. I decided to make a new recipe.

I wanted it to have a lot of flavor- something that would be fun served at a breakfast, brunch or with dinner, but not too sweet. I added spices and raisins, but I could see using other dried fruits.

I left it plain on top – but you could easily add a powdered sugar glaze. No, I did not hard cook the eggs first. They cook while the bread is baking. Saves a step, for sure.

The texture of the bread is really nice and the dough is richly spiced. I added mace, but if you don’t have any mace, add a little more nutmeg or allspice. Mace is a spice I would encourage you to try sometime.

So here is the recipe. Hope you like it as much as we did.

 Cinnamon Raisin Easter Wreath Bread

4½ -5 c. flour

1 pkt. yeast

½ c. brown sugar

2 t. cinnamon

1 t. salt

½ t. allspice

½ t. nutmeg

½ t. mace

1 c. warm water

½ c. butter, melted

2 eggs

½ c. raisins

5-6 uncooked eggs, dyed if you like

Combine 2 cups flour, yeast, sugar, seasonings and salt in large bowl.  Heat together water and butter until warm and add to flour mixture. Beat 2-3 minutes. Beat eggs and reserve 1 tablespoon of the eggs for brushing the top of the bread later. Add remaining eggs and another cup of flour to the bowl. Beat 4 minutes. Add the raisins and enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough. Knead on a floured surface until smooth and elastic, but still soft. Place in oiled bowl turning to oil top. Note: I actually used my stand mixer, and just left the dough in the bowl to knead, and then covered it to rise. I was able to leave the dough a little sticky this way, using less flour. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes. While dough is rising, prepare a pan. Grease a large baking sheet- or use a silicone baking mat. Grease a one cup oven-proof custard cup and place it upside down on the middle of the baking sheet. This will keep a “hole” in the middle of your wreath. If you don’t have a custard cup, you can use a metal one-cup measure instead. Punch dough down and divide in three pieces. Roll each piece into a 20-inch long rope. Braid the ropes together. Wrap the braid around the custard cup on the baking sheet and pinch ends together to keep the braid from coming apart. Cover and allow to rise until doubled (50-60 minutes). Just before baking, combine reserved egg with a little water and brush the wreath with the egg wash. Place 5 or 6 eggs on the top of the braid- being careful not to press down too hard.  Bake in preheated 350-degree oven for 25 minutes. Cover bread with foil and bake 10-15 minutes longer, or until bread sounds hollow when tapped lightly. Here is the only tricky part. You have to remove the wreath, but not drop the glass custard cup in the middle. You can let the bread cool a few minutes before moving. I use a silicone baking sheet so I slide the whole thing off the baking sheet and onto a cooling rack. I use two large spatulas to lift the wreath up and leave the custard cup behind. If it doesn’t come right out, use a knife to loosen.  Just lift the wreath up enough to slide the custard cup out. Let cool before serving- store leftovers in fridge – because of the eggs on top. Makes 1.

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