I Made No-Knead Easter Bread!!!
Can you believe it? Well, it’s true. Let me start at the beginning.
If you recall, my Mom and I had a marathon baking session the other day. We churned out several different kinds of traditional Italian Easter treats. We were elbow deep in flour, butter and ricotta cheese, and gossiping our heads off, when we realized that we had forgotten to start the dough to make our Easter bread. Easter bread is a rich and slightly sweet yeast bread, that is braided and baked with colored eggs entwined in it. It is very similar to challah. Although it is a very popular Italian specialty, many other European cultures also boast their own version of it too.
We were majorly bummed about this, because this particular dough requires two rises. That meant that even if we dropped what we were doing and started right then, it would be at least three hours before the loaves would be ready to be baked. Crap! I couldn’t believe we forgot about the bleeping Easter bread!
Suddenly, it hit me. I still had half a batch of the master recipe for brioche dough from the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day cookbook sitting in my fridge. If I could make doughnuts and almond brioche out of that dough, why couldn’t I make Easter bread out of it as well?
WHAT A FREAKIN’ BRILLIANT IDEA!!!
I raced home and grabbed the dough, and raced back to Mom’s. (It’s a good thing we only live a few blocks away from each other or else I would have probably needed Stacey’s defibrilator!) Within ten minutes, we had the dough formed and ready to rest. About an hour after that, the intoxicating aroma of freshly baked Easter bread was wafting through the house. Let me tell you, that house was already smelling pretty damn good from all of the pies we’d been baking. The combination of the two was absolutely heavenly!
Anyway, those loaves of bread turned out fantastic! They were beautifully burnished on the outside, and soft and pillowy on the inside. We were able to get two gorgeous round loaves out of the dough I had on hand. With a whole batch, I’m sure you could get four.
Imagine that! Who’d have thunk it? No-Knead Easter bread!
- 1½ cups lukewarm water
- 1½ tablespoons granulated yeast (1½ packets)
- 1½ tablespoons salt
- 8 eggs, lightly beaten
- ½ cup honey
- 7½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 batch of brioche dough
- 4 raw, dyed eggs, more if you are clumsy (Make sure you use raw eggs. They will cook along with the bread. I didn’t do this and my eggs sank like pretty colored lead bullets!)
- 1 egg, lightly beaten for egg wash
- colored sanding sugar for decorating (optional)