We got our eggs dyed yesterday. I was trying to wait until this weekend but we had a snowstorm early in the week that forced up to stay inside for a few days. I was desperate for something, anything to entertain the kidlets. So unless I get real brave this weekend and take them to an egg hunt, we’re done with Easter activities. And that makes me sad.
Luckily, I do have this bread to enjoy while I wait for the actual day. If you like hot cross buns, you will LOVE this. It doesn’t have the spice or the sweet glaze that hot cross buns have but it’s full of lemon zest and dried fruit and it makes for a great presentation since it’s braided. The orange marmalade is perfect on top and you must not skip it!
In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in the water. Let stand until foamy. Add eggs, sugar, oil, salt, lemon zest, and 4 cups of the flour. Beat until smooth.
Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface. Sprinkle the raisins over top; knead until smooth and elastic, 6-8 minutes. Place in a large greased bowl, turning to make sure all sides are greased. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
Punch dough down; turn out onto a floured surface. Divide dough into 3 equal pieces and roll each piece into a 20-inch rope. Braid the ropes together; pinch ends to seal. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
Heat oven to 350F. Brush the risen dough with the beaten egg mixture. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes, or until deep golden brown. Let cool on a wire rack before cutting. Serve with orange marmalade.