No Yeast Needed!

Right now if you are looking for yeast you may be frustrated, but do not fret. There is delicious Easter bread to be had without yeast as well and guess what? No waiting for the bread to rise! 
Here is a version of my Nonna's bread that should do the trick. Happy Easter

No Yeast Easter Bread

This recipe is based on my Nonna’s Easter bread, but without the yeast-so no rise time needed. With what is happening around the grocery stores, currently yeast may be hard to come by. So this version although not as light as the yeast version has a wonderful flavour and is delicious warm with butter or lightly toasted. This recipe makes 2 loaves so you can enjoy one now and then freeze the other for another day! 

3 1/2 cups (875 mL) all purpose flour (approx)
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
2 eggs 
1/2 cup (125 mL) granulated sugar
1/4 cup (60 mL) butter, melted
1/2 cup (125 mL) milk 
1/4 cup (60 mL) warm water
1 tsp (5 mL) orange or lemon zest 
1 tsp (5 mL) baking soda
1 tsp (5 mL) lemon juice
1/4 cup (60 mL) golden raisins, soaked (see Tip)

Egg Wash:
1 egg
1 tbsp (15 mL) milk

In a bowl, whisk together 3 cups (750 mL) of the flour and salt; set aside.

Egg Wash: In a small bowl, whisk together egg and milk; set aside.

In a large bowl whisk together eggs, sugar and butter until smooth. Whisk in milk, water, orange zest, baking soda and lemon juice. 

Stir in flour mixture stirring to make soft slightly sticky dough. Stir in raisins. 

Scrape dough onto floured work surface and gently knead in enough of the remaining flour to make soft smooth dough. 

Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C).

Divide dough in half and cut each half into 3 pieces. Roll each piece into a 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick rope. Braid 3 of the ropes to create a loaf and place on parchment paper Lind baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough. 

Brush loaves with egg wash and bake in oven for about 25 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool slightly before removing from pan to cool completely.

Makes 2 loaves.

Leftover idea: Slice the loaf into 1/2 inch (1 cm) thick slices and toast in a 300 F (150 C) oven, turning once for about 20 minutes for your own biscotti! Perfect to dunk into an afternoon coffee.

Tip: Soak the raisins in hot water for about 10 minutes to soften them. Be sure to drain them and give them a little squeeze before adding them to the dough.

For additional flavour use a little rum to soak the raisins and be sure to drain the rum and save it for a drink later. 


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