Pennsylvania Dutch Easter Bread

A sweet and dense bread traditionally served with Easter dinner.

   

Easter bread is a sweet and dense bread that was traditionally served with Easter dinner at my grandmother's house. It is best when served fresh with butter or cream cheese but is also great for leftover ham sandwiches the day after it is made. When stale, it is still excellent when pan fried in butter.


The recipe that follows is my personal version for making 2 loafs, my grandmothers original 9 loaf recipe note card can be found at Original Recipe

Ingredients
1 Package Fleischmann's Yeast
1/2 Cup Warm Water
1 Stick Butter
1 tbsp Sugar
3/4 Cup Sugar
3 Eggs, separated
1/4 tsp Salt
1 Cup Milk @ room temperature
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
6 Cups Flour

Directions

1. In a small bowl mix together the 1/2 cup of warm water, 1 tbsp of sugar and the package of yeast. Set aside to proof the yeast.

2. In a mixing bowl, cream the stick of butter with the 3/4 cup of sugar.

3. Add 3 egg yolks, 1/4 tsp salt and 1 cup room temp milk and continue mixing.

4. Add 2 cups flour, 1/2 cup at a time, and mix to cake batter like consistency.

5. Beat egg whites and add to mixing bowl along with the yeast mixture. Mix together.

6. If using a stand mixer, swap out the whisk for a dough hook. Add 1/2 tsp vanilla extract and mix in 4 cups flour, 1/2 cup at a time until a solid dough ball that can hang from hook. If mixing by hand add 3 cups flower, remove to board and knead in the 4th cup of flower.

7. Leave the dough in the mixing bowl, cover, and allow to rise overnight (or for at least 8 hours).

8. Separate dough out evenly into two greased bread pans, it should fill them half way to the top.

9. Cover dough and let sit to rise in pan for another 2-4 hours. It should rise to the top of the pan.

10. When the dough has sufficiently risen in pan, bake for 30 minutes @ 325 F or until top of bread is golden brown. Remove from oven and immediately spread butter over top of loafs, let it melt into the crust and wipe off any excess with a paper towel. Let sit for 30 minutes before removing from pan and serving