Easter Bread with Raisins and Sugar Cubes
Easter Bread with Raisins and Sugar Cubes
Rating: (1 rated)
Recipe Yield: Makes 1 (11-inch/28-centimeter) loaf
Preparation

For the loaf:
3/4 cup/100 grams chopped, blanched almonds
1 1/2 ounces/42 grams fresh yeast, or 2 teaspoons instant yeast
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 cup/240 milliliters whole milk, lukewarm
4 cups, scooped and leveled/500 grams all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
11 tablespoons/150 grams unsalted high-fat, European-style butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 egg yolks
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup/140 grams raisins
1 cup/125 grams sugar cubes

For the egg wash:
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 teaspoons whole milk

Place the chopped almonds in a dry skillet and toast over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until pale golden and fragrant, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

Crumble the yeast into a medium bowl and add the sugar. Whisk in the milk until the yeast dissolves. Cover the bowl with a dishcloth and set aside for 15 minutes. If using instant yeast, skip this step and simply add the yeast to the flour and other ingredients in the next step.

Place the flour in a large mixing bowl and make a well in the middle. Cube the butter and place in the well. Add the vanilla extract to the yeast mixture and pour and scrape it all into the well. Before mixing, add the egg yolks and the salt. Using your hands, mix everything together and knead in the bowl until the dough comes together. Then scrape out onto a lightly floured surface and continue to knead, adding flour only if necessary, until the dough is smooth, 3 to 5 minutes more. You want the dough to remain as light and floppy as possible, so resist the urge to add additional flour, unless absolutely necessary, for example if the dough still is sticky after several minutes of kneading. The more you knead, the less sticky the dough should become. At the end of kneading, the dough should no longer be sticky. Form into a ball and set aside on the work surface to relax for a few minutes.

Gently roll out the dough until it is about an inch thick. Place the raisins, toasted almonds, and sugar cubes on the surface of the dough. Gather the dough up and around the fillings and knead them in until well distributed throughout the dough. This will be unwieldy at first, but as you keep going, the dough will start to come together again. Form the dough into a ball and put back into the mixing bowl. Cover with the dishcloth and place in a warm, draft-free spot for 1 hour.

After 1 hour, preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Gently push down the dough to knead through once, and then shape into a 9-inch-/23-centimeter-long loaf that is about 5 inches wide in the middle. Place on the baking sheet.

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