Friday, March 19, 2010

Easter Egg Bread (from Taste of Home)

This is another one of my favorite breads for Easter time.  You must put the egg wash over the bread before baking, however, or the colored eggs will run - and that will put you in a bad mood (like it did me), and you won't want to make it again until someone talks you into it.  It is a delicious bread, though, and fun for the kids.


  • 6 to 6-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 cups milk
  • 6 tablespoons butter, cubed
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 to 6 hard-cooked eggs
  • Vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons cold water


  • In a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, sugar, yeast, cardamom and salt. In a saucepan, heat milk and butter to 120°-130°. Add to dry ingredients; beat just until moistened. Add 3 eggs; beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
  • Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes.
  • Dye hard-cooked eggs; lightly rub with oil. Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide dough into thirds. Shape each portion into a 24-in. rope.
  • Place ropes on a greased baking sheet and braid; bring ends together to form a ring. Pinch ends to seal. Gently separate braided ropes and tuck dyed eggs into openings. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 20 minutes.
  • Beat water and remaining egg; gently brush over dough. Bake at 375° for 28-32 or until golden brown. Remove from pan to a wire rack to cool. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 1 loaf.
Nutrition Facts: 1 serving (1 slice) equals 281 calories, 8 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 107 mg cholesterol, 231 mg sodium, 44 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 9 g protein.

Hot Cross Buns (modified slightly from

This is one of my favorite bread recipes.  I try to make these rolls every year for Easter and sometimes Christmas.  They go perfectly with a traditional ham dinner - and the leftovers are always fought over for breakfast the next morning.  You won't be disappointed!  They are a bit of work, however, so give yourself some time.

Hot Cross Buns (Makes about 2 dozen)

  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for bowl, pan, and knife
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons (2 packages) active dry yeast
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 5 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 1/3 cups craisins
  • Bun Crossing Paste
  • 1/2 cup apricot jam

  • Directions:

    1. Generously butter a large bowl; set aside. Place 1 cup milk in a small saucepan, over medium heat. Heat until milk reaches 110 degrees on a candy thermometer. Pour milk into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. With machine on low speed, add granulated sugar, yeast, salt, butter, lemon zest, orange zest, and eggs. Add flour, and mix on low speed until a soft, slightly sticky dough forms around dough hook. Continue kneading, scraping down hook and sides of bowl as necessary, until smooth, about 4 minutes more.
    2. Add craisins; knead, with dough hook, to incorporate. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead briefly to evenly distribute currants in dough. Shape into a ball. Place dough in prepared bowl. Turn to coat with butter. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour and 20 minutes.
    3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. Turn dough out onto work surface. Knead briefly and roll dough into a log. Cut log in half and cut each half into 12 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a tightly formed ball. Place on prepared baking sheets 2 inches apart. Cover baking sheets with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until buns are touching and doubled in size, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
    4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Place bun crossing paste in a pastry bag fitted with a small plain tip or a paper cornet with a 1/8-inch opening. Pipe crosses over the surface of each bun. Transfer buns to oven and bake until golden brown, 18 to 25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool to room temperature.
    5. Meanwhile, place apricot jam in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook until heated through; strain through a mesh sieve set over a bowl. Brush heated jam over buns.
Bun Crossing Paste (Makes enough for 2 dozen buns)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup flour (scant)
  • Pinch of salt
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together oil and 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon water. Add flour and salt, and whisk until well combined. Let stand 1 hour before using.

    Monday, March 15, 2010

    Pistachio Cake

    I do love a good chocolate cake, but I'd have to say this is my second favorite flavor.  It's probably just nostalgic for me as I used to ask for it on my birthday, but it is tasty, nonetheless.  AND, it makes a GREAT St. Patrick's Day dessert.  Try it!

    1 yellow cake mix
    1 pkg. pistachio pudding mix (4 oz)
    1 1/4 cups water
    1/4 cup oil
    4 eggs
    1 tsp. almond extract
    7 drops green food coloring

    Combine all ingredients together and beat for 2 minutes.  Pour into greased & floured BUNDT cake pan.  Bake @ 350 for 50-55 minutes.  Allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes.  Invert onto wire rack and continue to cool.  Drizzle with powdered sugar glaze (below).

    1 lb. (about 3 1/2 cups) powdered sugar
    2 T. melted butter
    1/4 cup milk (add 1-2T more if it's too thick)
    1/2 tsp. almond (optional)
    2-3 drops green food coloring (optional)

    Combine all ingredients together & drizzle over cooled cake.

    Creamed Asparagus on Toast

    If you don't like asparagus or hard-cooked eggs, you won't like this recipe, but I love it!  My Mom has been making it since I was little and it's a favorite for me.  However, I can't say the same for my husband & children, who call hard-cooked eggs hot & rotten eggs.  It's definitely an easy recipe though, and I think you'll like it!

    6 eggs
    1 1/2 lbs. asparagus, trimmed and cut into bite size pieces
    6T butter
    6T flour
    salt & pepper
    3 cups milk
    Toast slices, buttered

    Boil eggs for 10-12 minutes, set aside in cold water.  Steam asparagus until done, but still somewhat crisp.  While asparagus is steaming, dice or slice eggs and place in a large bowl.  

    To make a basic white sauce, melt butter in a saute pan.  Add flour and stir until combined.  Season with salt & pepper to taste.  Add milk and stir until thickened.  Add sauce & steamed asparagus to eggs and stir together.

    Serve over buttered toast, torn into bite size pieces.