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Archive for April, 2015

Romanian Easter Bread

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How about instead we just call this swirly delicious bread? I would hate to think that this would/could only be made at Easter time. It was so fluffy and yummy. Oh, and gone in less than 24 hours. Maybe it should be called dangerous…

Elle, over at Feeding My Enthusiasms, has chosen a delightful filled bread for this month.

“The description of the recipe in The Festive Bread Book, by Kathy Cutler talks about “The delicious walnut filling” but the recipe calls for ground almonds. I suspect that you could use any ground nut you desire…walnut, almond, pecan, hazelnut…and you will get a nice filling. The full description is, ” the delicious walnut filling of this bread helps make it a Romanian classic. Serve it as a snack or with Easter dinner.” It doesn’t have any icing, so it may be a bread that is somewhat unsweetened. You can always add a sweet glaze and/or nuts once the baked bread has cooled if you prefer it a bit sweeter.”

I chose to make a poppy-seed filling for mine so I am not sure I can say it is Romanian, but it is still very much keeping with European flavors. The bread is rich with eggs, milk and butter resulting in a dough that is a pleasure to work with. Seriously though, isn’t all bread dough wonderful? The magic of bread is never-ending.

My poppy-seed filling is just something I made up but I  ended up with too much. That is okay  with me since I am planning on making another one later today in just a simple jelly roll style but I am adjusting it here for you, or double it like me. I like a lot of filling. Ah,gluttony (it’s my middle name)

Bake On!

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Romanian Easter Braid

makes one loaf

from The Festive Bread Book, by Kathy Cutler

3 1/2 – 4 cups flour, divided
1/2 tablespoon active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest (I used the zest of I orange)
2/3 cup milk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt (I used 3/4 tsp kosher salt)
2 eggs

Filling: (Please see Elle’s site for the original version)

5 oz poppy seed
6 oz whole milk
2 oz honey
2 oz |(1/2 cup) granulated sugar
2 oz butter

Grind the poppy seeds in a clean coffee grinder to break them down a bit. Place into a small pan with the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Lower the heat slightly and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Take off the heat and let cool completely.

Glaze: 1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons milk (I skipped this)

Preparation: Combine 2 cups flour , the yeast, and  zest in a mixing bowl.

Heat milk, butter, sugar and salt until butter melts; remove from heat and let cool until it reaches 90-100 degrees F.

Add milk mixture and eggs to dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly.

Add enough remaining flour to form a soft dough (I used it all). Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth – about 10 minutes (I used my stand mixer)

Place in greased bowl, turning to coat top. Cover; let rise in warm place until double – about 1 hour.

Punch down dough. Divide dough into 3 equal pieces. Roll each into a 7 x 16-inch rectangle.

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Use 1/3 of filling one each rectangle, spreading filling, but leaving a margin around edges; roll up jelly-roll style. Seal seam and ends. You will have three filled and sealed ropes. I used way too much filling on my first roll!

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Braid ropes; place on greased baking sheet.

Cover; let rise in warm place until double – about 30 minutes.

Make glaze and brush on loaf.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree F oven for 40 minutes or until done. Cool on wire rack.

(Optional: Make a sweet glaze with 1 tablespoon warm milk and enough powdered sugar to make a drizzle glaze. Drizzle cooled bread and then sprinkle with sliced almonds, for decoration, while glaze is still wet. Let dry.)

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Here are the links for thBBBuddy Badge April 15e other Babes:

BakeMy Day  –  Karen
Blog from OUR Kitchen –  Elizabeth
Bread Experience –  Cathy
Girlichef –  Heather
Life’s a Feast –  Jaime
Lucullian Delights –  Ilva
My Diverse Kitchen – Aparna
My Kitchen in Half Cups – Tanna
Notitie van Lien – Lien

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