The calendar reminds us Mother’s Day is here, and the liturgical calendar reminds us we are in the Easter season. To observe these happenings, Father Jim Sabak, O.F.M. joins NC Catholics NOW to bake one of his mom’s favorite recipes, which she customized to make her own. His family has been baking this Easter bread for decades. Follow along for Father Jim’s thoughts on the season and instructions for how to prepare this sweet bread.
Janet’s Easter Bread
½ cup milk
½ cup butter, unsalted
½ cup sugar
½ tsp. salt
3 packages instant blend dry yeast
½ cup warm water
3 eggs, room temperature
5 ½ cups all-purpose flour (add in small amounts until desired consistency, may not need this much)
Grated rind of 2 lemons
Scald milk. Remove from heat and add butter, sugar and salt. Cool to lukewarm. In a large bowl, pour yeast over warm water. Let stand 3 to 5 minutes; stir. Add eggs, flour (in small amounts at a time until desired consistency is reached), cooled milk mixture and rind to yeast. Beat until smooth using spatula, wooden spoon or handheld mixer. Place in greased bowl, turn the dough over to grease on top. Cover. Let rise on a rack (or similar) over hot water or in a warm place until dough is doubled in size, 45 – 60 minutes or until a dent is left when finger is pressed into dough. Punch dough down. Let rest 10 minutes. Return the dough to the warm place to rise a second time. Let it rise as above, 30 minutes.
Grease a 12 x 15 inch baking sheet. Place dough on sheet and arrange it into a dome shape. Bake at 375 degrees, 35-45 minutes. Remove from pan. Cool on rack.
Once cool, frost with confectioners’ sugar icing* and sprinkles.
*Icing: To prepare icing, use whole milk, two drops of vanilla extract and confectioners’ sugar. Mix to desired consistency/taste.
Video link: https://youtu.be/zk1sHZW0f3A