Easter Bread Ring

    Easter Bread Ring

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    About this recipe: This recipe is from Italy. The Italians love it, especially at Easter time.

    Serves: 6 

    • 5 eggs
    • 1/4 cup (60g) caster sugar
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 (8g) package active dry yeast
    • 3 cups (375g) plain flour
    • 2/3 cup (170ml) milk
    • 2 tablespoons (30g) butter
    • 2 eggs, room temperature
    • 1/2 cup (80g) mixed candied fruit
    • 1/3 cup (50g) chopped blanched almonds
    • 1/2 teaspoon anise seed
    • 2 tablespoons (30ml) melted shortening
    • 1 cup (125g) icing sugar
    • 1 tablespoon (15ml) whole milk
    • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 3 tablespoons multicolored sprinkles (jimmies)

    Prep:30min  ›  Cook:35min  ›  Extra time:2hr proofing  ›  Ready in:3hr5min 

    1. Color the 5 eggs with egg dye. In a large mixing bowl, blend the caster sugar, salt, and yeast well with 1 cup of the flour.
    2. In a saucepan, combine 2/3 cup milk and butter, heating slowly until liquid is warm and butter is melted. Pour the milk into the dry ingredients and beat 125 strokes with a wooden spoon. Add eggs and 1/2 cup flour or enough to make a thick batter. Beat vigorously for 2 minutes. Stir in enough flour to make a ball of dough that draws away from the sides of the bowl.
    3. Turn out onto a floured board and knead for about 10 minutes, working in additional flour to overcome stickiness. Place the dough in a greased bowl, turning to grease the top. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and put in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
    4. Meanwhile, combine the fruit, nuts, and anise seed.
    5. Punch down the dough and return it to a lightly floured board. Knead in the fruit mixture, keeping the syrupy pieces dusted with flour until they are worked into the dough. Divide the dough in half.
    6. Carefully roll each piece into a 62cm rope--the fruit and nuts will make this slightly difficult. Loosely twist the two ropes together and form a ring on a greased baking tray. Pinch the ends together well. Brush the dough with melted shortening. Push aside the twist to make a place for each egg. Push eggs down carefully as far as possible. Cover the bread with wax paper and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
    7. Bake the bread in a preheated 175 degrees C (350 degree F) oven for about 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in a twist comes out clean. Place on a wire rack to cool.
    8. Once the bread is cool, drizzle the icing on top between the eggs, and decorate with colored sprinkles. To make icing: mix together icing sugar, 1 tablespoon whole milk, and vanilla.

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