I first met my In-Law family during the Easter holiday (about 15 years ago).
Their Easter food traditions revolve around the love of Kielbasi with sauerkraut (it has to be “white kielbasi”…), Polish Easter Bread and Pound Cake.
After we got married, I started asking for a copy of the recipe so that I could make Polish Easter Bread for my husband. It took a few years to get a copy from my sister-in-law. It was well worth the wait… The first time that I made this (with the help of another sister-in-law), we actually forgot to add the eggs (ha ha). It was still very good.
Over the years, I’ve adapted the recipe and have re-written it so that non-bread makers can easily make it too. Of course, I had to add some spice (Cinnamon was an obvious choice)..
The holidays are definitely a time to embrace cultural traditions. It may be a personal family tradition, an in-law tradition or one that has evolved over time by the blending of the two families (and cultures)….
Enjoy your Easter Holiday!
Gypsy World Spice Cafe Recipe – Polish Easter Bread
Yields: 3 loaves (or 6 mini-loaves)
1-1/2 cups Sugar
1 teaspoon Salt
2 cups Milk
2 sticks Butter
6 eggs (3 whole, 3 yolks)
1 cup Raisins
1 cup Golden Raisins
3 packets of Dry Active Yeast (Rapid Rise)
9 cups flour, plus more as needed (I blend 1/2 white flour with 1/2 white-wheat flour)
1 tablespoon Cinnamon, divided
- Measure your flour into a bowl and set aside.
- In a separate bowl, toss raisins with 2 teaspoons of cinnamon and 2 teaspoons of flour; set aside.
- Heat sugar, milk, salt and butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Do not bring to a boil. Set aside to cool to 105-110 degrees (about 30 minutes).
- Pour this mixture into a large bowl. Add yeast and stir until yeast has dissolved.
- Add 2 cups of flour to yeast mixture. Mix until incorporated. Cover with plastic wrap and a clean dish towel.
- Put this bowl in the oven* to proof for at least 15 minutes. When you take the bowl out of the oven, you will see that the yeast has started to work. The mixture will be kind of foamy.
- Add 4 cups of flour, one cup at a time (mixing well between each cup of flour).
- Mix in the raisins, eggs and remaining 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. The dough will be sticky but workable.
- Turn the sticky dough mixture out onto a lightly floured work surface.
- Knead the dough for 10-15 minutes. You will probably need to add another 2-3 cups of flour (one sprinkle at a time). You do not want the dough to get flakey (very few raisins should fall out). Only add enough flour to get the dough smooth and elastic.
- Place the dough into a lightly greased bowl. Turn to coat the dough. Place the bowl in the oven* and let rise until double (for about 1-2 hours).
- Punch the dough down and divide into 3 equal portions for regular sized loaves (6 equal portion for mini-loaves).
- Shape and put into greased loaf pans. Cover with plastic wrap and clean dish towel. Let rise for 30-60 minutes.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes. If needed, cover with aluminum foil during the last 5-10 minutes to prevent over-browning.
Oven Proofing Temperature Instructions
- If you have an electric oven, heat it at 350 degrees for 1 minute and then shut it off.
- If you have a gas oven, the pilot light will have the oven warmed to the appropriate temperature.
Link to WikiHow on Kneading Bread