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!

One year ago: Honey Chicken
Two years ago: Broccoli Salad
Three years ago: Chocolate-Chocolate Chunk Muffins

Easter Bread
adapted from Taste of Home
Ingredients
  • 1 envelope 1/4 ounce active dry yeast
  • ¾ cup warm water
  • 3 eggs
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 4 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup raisins
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water
  • orange marmalade for serving
Instructions
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

4

Easter is probably my favorite holiday (after Mardi Gras, obviously). I don’t know why – maybe it’s all the bright colored eggs or the fun baskets I get to make these days. I just love it.

Another great thing about Easter? Hot Cross Buns! Slightly sweet, yeast rolls studded with currants (or dried fruit of choice) and lots of cinnamon. And as if that’s not enough, they’re brushed with a deliciously sweet glaze. Hot Cross Buns are traditionally eaten on Good Friday so make sure you save this recipe for next week!

The recipe is very easy and the dough can even be made in your bread machine if you’re pressed for time. For the glaze, I brushed it over the buns and then thickened it up with more powdered sugar to make the crosses. So simple and so delicious!

5 from 1 vote
Hot Cross Buns
Ingredients
For the buns:
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup milk
  • ¼ butter room temperature
  • 1 egg room temperature
  • cups bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • teaspoons active dry yeast
  • ¾ cup dried currants
For the glaze:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 to 4 teaspoons water
Instructions
To make the dough using a bread machine:
  1. Have liquid ingredients at 80F and all other ingredients at room temperature. Place ingredients in pan in the order specified in your owner's manual. Select dough/manual cycle. Currants can be added 5 minutes before the end of the last kneading. Do not use the delay timer. Take dough out after kneading cycle is complete. Follow Shaping, Rising and Baking directions below. TIP: Check dough consistency after 5 minutes of kneading. The dough should be in a soft, tacky ball. If it is dry and stiff, add water, ½ to 1 tablespoon at a time. If it is too wet and sticky, add 1 tablespoon of flour at a time.
To make using a hand-held mixer:
  1. Combine yeast, 1 cup flour, and other dry ingredients, except currants. Combine water and milk; heat to 120to 130F.
  2. Combine dry mixture, liquid ingredients, and butter in mixing bowl on low speed. Beat 2 to 3 minutes on medium speed. Add egg; beat 1 minute. By hand, stir in enough remaining flour to make a firm dough. Knead on floured surface 5 to 7 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Add additional flour if necessary. Place dough in lightly oiled bowl and turn to grease top. Cover; let rise until dough tests ripe.
To make using a stand mixer:
  1. Combine yeast, 1 cup flour, and other dry ingredients, except currants. Combine water and milk; heat to 120to 130F.
  2. Combine dry mixture, liquid ingredients, and butter in mixing bowl with paddle or beaters for 4 minutes on medium speed. Add egg; beat 1 minute. Gradually add remaining flour and knead with dough hook(s) 5 to 7 minutes until smooth and elastic. Place dough in lightly oiled bowl and turn to grease top. Cover; let rise until dough tests ripe.
To make using a food processor:
  1. Put dry mixture in processing bowl with steel blade. While motor is running, add butter, egg, and liquid ingredients. Process until mixed. Continue processing, adding remaining flour until dough forms a ball. Place dough in lightly oiled bowl and turn to grease top. Cover; let rise until dough tests ripe.
  2. Shaping, rising, and baking:
  3. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface; punch down to remove air bubbles. Divide into 3 parts. Divide each third into 6 pieces. Shape each piece into a smooth ball. Place on greased cookie sheet, sides touching. Cover; let rise until indentation remains after touching. Combine 1 egg yolk and 1 tablespoon water; brush buns. Bake in preheated 375F oven for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from cookie sheets; cool. Frost with glaze.
To make the glaze:
  1. Whisk together sugar, vanilla, and water until you get your desired consistency.

The post sponsored by Red Star Yeast. All opinions are my own.

10

In Around My French Table, Dorie explains that while the literal translation of this dish includes the word beggar, it’s typically used to describe a chocolate bonbon with nuts, dried fruit, and candied orange zest. That makes sense because I don’t know any beggars that can afford $6.99/lb pistachios. If they can, I’m in the wrong business.

This dish is basically a pasta tossed in browned butter with nuts and dried fruit and topped with orange zest and Parmesean. Now let me tell you that I don’t get buttered pasta. I often see other bloggers talk about how they grew up eating it when their mom didn’t feel like cooking or didn’t have time to get to the grocery store but growing up, we were more of a breakfast for dinner kind of family. So the idea of pasta with butter on it? It kind of grosses me out. In an effort to be more adventurous, I went ahead with the recipe.

It turned out really well! It’s not something that my husband or either of my kids would eat but it was a nice, quick lunch for me. I think it needs more nuts and fruit than the recipe calls for but if you’re into the buttered pasta thing, you’d probably love it just as it is. The figs are amazing, beyond amazing in the butter and with the almonds (I used balsamic almonds instead of plain). I added a large pinch of sea salt to the butter as it was browning and the saltiness with the sweet was perfect.

If you’re interested in cooking and baking you’re way through Around My French Table, make sure you visit French Fridays with Dorie. If you’re looking for the recipe, it can be found in Around My French Table.

32

We really, and I mean really, love granola around here. But of course, it’s just not that great for you. All the oil that usually goes into a batch of granola makes it a pretty high calorie snack and let’s face it, no one can stop after just a handful of the tasty stuff.

I’ve made granola with applesauce instead of oil in the past but this is by far my favorite version. It’s loaded with nuts (I used walnuts and pecans) and sunflower seeds which makes it not only yummy but also filling. It’s sweet but not too sweet and you can adjust the dried fruit amount to make it even sweeter if it suits you.

4.5 from 6 votes
Applesauce Granola
Ingredients
  • 2 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup nuts pecans, walnuts, almonds
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup raisins
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300F.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together oats, nuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a small saucepan, warm the applesauce with the honey and oil over low heat.
  4. Mix the applesauce mixture into the oat mixture and stir to coat everything. Spread the mixture onto a 9 x 13 baking pan.
  5. Bake for 45 – 50 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until the granola is a deep brown. Remove from oven and stir in raisins. Cool completely before enjoying.

51

I know, I know. I just posted a pumpkin bread recipe a few days ago. But this one is actually supposed to be a bread and it’s full of walnuts, raisins, and dried cranberries which makes it that much better.

This bread was tender and stayed super moist for days after it was made. The nuts and dried fruit gave it a great texture and you get a little something different in each bite. My kid loved it and I’m pretty sure he ate half the loaf by himself and that is saying a lot because he’s having a picky month!

(The great big bonus of it all is that it’s actually healthy! No butter, no oil! I felt no guilt having this for breakfast!)

Pumpkin, Fruit, and Nut Bread
Ingredients
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup solid-pack pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, beat the sugar, pumpkin, applesauce, eggs and vanilla until well blended. Combine the flour, cinnamon, salt, baking soda and cloves; gradually beat into pumpkin mixture until blended. Fold in the walnuts, raisins and cranberries.
  2. Transfer to greased 9-in. x 5-in. loaf pan. Bake at 350° for 60-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.
4