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.