The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

what should I bake for Easter?

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buns of steel's picture
buns of steel

what should I bake for Easter?

I'd like to bake some bread for with dinner, and a nice festive sweetened or enriched bread of some type.


The family is having spring lamb from a local farmer, poor little lamby, I'm not eating you :-(   So something that goes with that, the lamb will probably have rosemary so I'm thinking not the bread.


Any ideas? For some reason I'm feeling uninspired with the ideas and I'm hoping you'll throw some fresh ideas my way.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Is mint bread too far fetched?   Does it even exist?

(My elves are now plucking at the mint plant and holding it under their noses and biting into the last loaf...)

staff of life's picture
staff of life

I read up on a few traditional Easter breads.  Light colored fruit and citrus seems to be a common theme.  I'm taking the recipe for Vanocka out of Leader's book, subbing white raisins for the dark and adding the zest of 1/2 large lemon plus 2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice.  If you're so inclined, coarsely grind 1 c of almonds with 3 T sugar and 4 t cinnamon and use this as a topping (adhere with an egg glaze) and you have Mandorlato, an Italian Easter bread.  Without the topping, it's Pashka which I believe is a Polish Easter bread.  (I'm sure someone here will correct me if I'm wrong; I've researched many traditional Easter breads and they all seem to blend together after a while.)


nbicomputers's picture

rabbit bread

not realy a recipe but i do have some instruction sheets on how to make a bread shaped like a rabit

they are to long to post here but i will scan tem and put them on my web server and post a download link if anybody wants it.


RFMonaco's picture

Hi Norm...may I take you up on your offer to post the Rabbit Bread link?

Thanks.....BTW...hoping you get the mail today if you haven't already got it already.

Let me know.

breadawe's picture

Hot Cross Buns. The origins go back to pagan traditions of ancient cultures. Something to do with the four quarters of the moon. In jolly old England, before Queen Elizabeth the 1st passed a law, street venders used to sell them calling out "If ye have no daughters, Give them to your sons, One a penny, two a penny, Hot Cross buns". Thinking more about it Elizabeth decided it was ok for them to be sold at Easter, Christmas and funerals. They really are a Good Friday tradition, that started in 1361, but serving them today on Easter Sunday will please all. John in Spokane

Floydm's picture

I'm definitely baking hot cross buns again.

maxamilliankolbe's picture

I may try Tsoureki, or Christopsomo, which is a twisted or braided bread that is eaten by many Greeks to break the 40 day fast of Lent.  Its translation means something like "epiphany" bread, representing the light of the Risen Lord making us partakers in His Divine nature.  I will also make Challah, since (to me) there is nothing like tying Judaism and Christianity together during the Easter season. 

buns of steel's picture
buns of steel

Mini Oven - I did see an Orange Mint bread in Richard Bertinet's book (I think it was in his book Dough versus his book Crust).  Interesting thought, its great throwing it out there and getting back things you'd never have thought of.


Staff, thanks for your reply, I hadn't heard of Mandorlato, interesting.  I've never made the Czech braid you're talking about from Local Breads, but it looks delicious and your changes sound really nice. 


nbicomputers, I also love your suggestion of Rabbit Bread, and I have young nieces and nephews who would delight in it I'm sure.  BTW, I haven't had a chance to tell you how nice it is to have someone around with your knowledge and professional experience, so thanks for everything you contribute here. 


RFMonaco, me too.


Breadawe and Floyd, I agree they're perfect.  I made them last year, so I'm thinking of trying something different, but now you've got me wanting to make them for another day on the weekend.  Maybe I can retard them overnight for a nice late breakfast on Monday morning with coffee, or maybe I should start them for Good Friday, since Breadawe pointed out that's the tradition.  Homemade are leagues apart from the ones in the store.  susanfnp has a nice "episode" on Hot Cross Buns on her blog at if anyone hasn't seen it.  The only problem with baking them, is you always get that song in your head, and it takes weeks for it to go away!!!!  Aarrgh!  Help!!! it's there now!!! 


Maxamillion, I know the Greek bread you're talking about and I've never made it but it is beautiful, and very special and festive.  Challah is always great too.  I've been wanting to try Nancy Silverton's but I still haven't gotten around to it.  It's a little different with some of the ingredients, has anyone made it by any chance?


You're all getting my enthusiasm up,  I was in a bread rut and finding little motivation and ideas, now this is much better! 



maxamilliankolbe's picture

All of the breads sound delicious! The one odd ingredient in Tsoureki that I'm familiar with is Mahlab (I believe that's the Turkish spelling), which is the dried pit of a sour cherry. It has a nutty flavor, but is different than any nut I've ever had. They sell it at Penzeys Spices. I haven't made it before, but I just might. Good luck with your endeavors, and have a happy Easter!

RFMonaco's picture

..remember that it potentiates Coumadin blood thinner if you happen to be taking it.

maxamilliankolbe's picture

How very smart you are to mention that.  How did you come across that handy piece of information?  People have come into Penzyes Spices talking about how they are concerned that Vietnamese Cinnamon has a bit of coumarin in it as well, and that perhaps it could be toxic (as they describe it).  I suppose its toxic if you eat a pound of it. It's good to know that Mahlep/Mahlab contains a bit of that, too.

RFMonaco's picture

I take Coumadin because of artificial Atrial and Aortic heart valves and to prevent them from clotting.  So, one has to make themselves aware of the consequences of not knowing their drug reactions to whatever. It is a real "B***H" to regulate ones diet to keep the INR within close limits.

Once your on Coumadin or derivatives of Coumarin, it doesn't take much more Vit. K antagonist (or Vit. K) to upset the "apple cart".

(INR is Prothrombin Time...International Normalized Ratio, a measure of clotting factor..measured by blood samples monthly, usually).