Osterbrot, or Easter Bread is essentially, the German version of Greek Tsoureki or Italian Easter Bread or Jewish Challah. An egg bread that may be braided, it is rich in flavor, and makes a wonderful morning meal or perfect bread pudding.
Though German, many Eastern Orthodox areas make this recipe or a variation of it for Orthodox Easter. It became very popular with Soviet troops stationed in East Germany during the Cold War, returning to Russia as an adapted version of Easter Bread.
- 2 packages active dry, or cake, yeast
- 2 Cups scalded milk, lukewarm
- 8 Cups sifted all-purpose flour, divided
- 5 egg yolks beaten
- 1 Cup sugar
- 1/2 Cup melted butter
- 1 Cup currants (sultanas)
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Dissolve yeast in lukewarm milk. Add 3 cups flour, mixing thoroughly.
- Let rise until double (overnight).
- In morning: Add egg yolks, sugar, butter, currants, vanilla, salt, enough remaining flour to make a light dough. Reserve to rise in warm place until double.
- Turn out on floured board; knead well, using more flour if necessary to make medium dough. Place in 2 large, greased loaf pans. Let rise to double bulk once more. Bake 10 minutes at 400 degrees F. Bake 50 minutes more at 350 degrees F.
We like to add some crystallized ginger.
The loaves, themselves, may be formed into rounds or braided. At last, baked as is; or, either topped with a light icing or dusted with confectioner's (powdered) sugar. A German tradition is to dust with vanilla sugar
Normally, this recipe is not braided, but you can braid the dough and work colored hard boiled eggs into the dough.
Serve with butter, jam or honey.