The German National Tourist Office (DZT) has put together two different recipes for this delicious bread – Osterzopf and Osterfladen – where you don’t have to be a baker to succeed!
Easter bread is an important part of the German Easter holiday. Especially in Catholic regions, bread is eaten on the eve of Easter, as a sign of the end of the forty-day fast. According to some sources, the first single documentation of Easter bread made from leavened dates back to Catholic regions in the 12th century. At this time, wheat flour was very expensive, so baking was intended for special occasions.
Since then, countless types of Easter bread have seen the light of day across Europe, especially in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The two items we’ve collected here hopefully will add to the Easter mood this year.
Cheese surface is the oldest type of Easter bread and is enjoyed in breakfast and desserts. The most common recipe is sweet wheat dough bread, preferably with raisins and almonds. However, many people bake it like a cake, without yeast and with a puff pastry base. Here is a recipe for the latter:
DownDo you need:
200 grams of wheat flour
2 tablespoons of sugar
1 teaspoon salt
rind of half a lemon (preferably organic)
80g cold butter
125 ml cold water
5 tablespoons of apricot jam
to the fillingDo you need:
400 ml milk
1 tablespoon vanilla paste or vanilla extract
pinch of salt
4 tablespoons of semolina
Half a lemon, peeled and juiced
1-2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons of sugar
60 g ground nuts
100 grams raisins
Make the bottom first. Mix the flour, sugar, salt, and lemon peel together in a large bowl. Add the cold butter in small cubes and mix well in the dry with your hands until you get small flakes. Make a hole in the middle and add water. Mix gently until you get a paste. Don’t knead too much, it will be too hard.
Roll the dough into a flat round shape, wrap it in plastic, and let it cool in the fridge for at least an hour.
Then roll out the dough so that it rests on a baking tray with a length of 26 cm. Leave the bottom of the cake pan cool until the filling is finished.
Then make the filling. Boil milk, vanilla and salt in a medium saucepan. Add semolina and stir well. Set the heat to a gentle simmer and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Stir from time to time until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat and combine in lemon peel, lemon juice, butter, sugar, ground nuts, and raisins. stir well. Cool for at least 10 minutes.
Heat the oven to 200 degrees. Beat egg whites in a separate bowl. When the semolina mixture has cooled, mix the egg yolks and then gently add the egg whites.
Spread the jam on the bottom, then the filling. Bake for 40 minutes, or until top is golden and bottom is fully cooked. Decorate with powdered sugar. Tip: Apply an Easter figurine stencil to the cake before decorating with icing!
Recipe taken from Helvetic Kitchen.
There are many types of Osterzopf or Hefezopf as it is also called in some regions. Some people like bread with a slightly stronger taste and use rum, vanilla, and raisins. Others prefer vanilla and lemon. The dough can be in the form of small garlands with a boiled Easter egg in the middle, or you can make braided bread.
You need one loaf:
500 grams of flour
1 piece fresh yeast, preferably sweet
175 ml milk
100 grams of sugar
80 grams butter
1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
Grated peel from half a lemon, preferably organic
80 gm raisins
1 tablespoon of milk
1 egg yolk
Heat the milk to 37 degrees. Put the flour in a bowl and make a hole in the middle. Open the yeast, add 1 teaspoon of sugar and some warm milk. Gently stir the mixture with a fork and leave the dough for 15 minutes at room temperature until it rises.
Put the butter in the remaining milk. Then add the curd and the rest of the ingredients except for the raisins to the dough. Stir using a kneading machine or a hand mixer with a kneading hook at minimum speed. Then knead for 5 minutes on high speed to get a smooth and elastic dough. Add raisins little by little. Cover the dough and put it in a warm place. Lift until it is visibly larger.
Put the dough on a work table with flour, knead well a few rounds and then divide it into 3 equal parts. Roll each piece into a sausage approx. 40 cm. Place the sausage on a baking tray lined with baking paper and make a braid. Cover it and let it rise until it is noticeably larger. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees from the top and bottom, or 160 degrees with hot air.
Beat egg yolks with 1 tablespoon of milk and brush the bread. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and crushed almonds. Place the tray on the bottom rack in the oven and bake approx. 30 minutes.
Put the bread on the rack and leave it to cool.
Recipe taken from Chefkoch.de. Norwegian blog Mat På Bordet also has a recipe for Easter bread, which you can find here.