Finnish Easter Bread

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For our kids, sleeping in is if they make it to 6:30 in the morning. None of our kids have ever slept in and I’m not sure they ever will until they become teenagers and we no longer need them too. We have taught them to get up quietly at least and so they aren’t typically running around screaming. At least until 7:00.

I’m always looking for a good bread that can be made for those holiday mornings where you get up early and want to have something freshly made to enjoy for breakfast. Easter is coming up and if you’ve got kids, it’s not likely you’re going to be sleeping in any way, so wake up early and get this bread going.

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I’m not sure exactly what makes this bread Finnish but I loved the combination of citrus zest and raisins baked right into the bread. The almonds add a bit of texture as well and it really does make a good dessert too. Of course, any bread like this would also make fantastic french toast too. We ate a few slices fresh from the oven and then turned the rest into french toast the next night. So good.

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Hope you all enjoy your beautiful Easter weekend!

Finnish Easter Bread

Recipe by Red Star Yeast

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2-3 cups bread flour
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange rind
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped almonds
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups powdered sugar

Directions

In large mixer bowl, combine 1cup flour, yeast, 2 TBSP sugar and salt; mix well. Add water (120-130°F), butter and egg yolks. Blend at low speed until moistened; beat 3 minutes at medium speed. By hand, stir in rind, raisins and almonds. In small mixer bowl, beat egg whites until stiff; gradually add 1/4 cup sugar. Fold into flour mixture. Gradually stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Knead on floured surface until smooth and elastic, 3 to 5 minutes. Place dough in lightly oiled bowl and turn to grease top. Cover; let rise until dough tests ripe.

Punch down dough. On lightly floured surface, roll or pat to a 14×7-inch rectangle. Starting with shorter side, roll up tightly, pressing dough into roll with each turn. Pinch edge and ends to seal. Place in greased 9×5-inch bread pan. With very sharp knife, make a lengthwise slash, 1/4 inch deep, down center of loaf. Cover; let rise in warm place until indentation remains after lightly touching. Bake at 350°F for 35 to 40 minutes until golden brown. Remove from pan. Serve warm or cold.

Prepare Cream Cheese Topping: In small mixer bowl, blend cream cheese, milk, vanilla and salt; beat until smooth. Gradually add powdered sugar; beat until fluffy.

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