It doesn't have to be Easter to make this soft and sweet egg bread. If you skip the glaze and sprinkles and use an egg wash before baking, you can toast it. Have all your ingredients at room temperature and ALWAYS AERATE (not sift) YOUR FLOUR BEFORE MEASURING.
- 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour (or bread flour)
- 2 teaspoons instant yeast (one packet/7 grams)
- 1/3 cup sugar (use 1/2 cup for sweeter bread)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup milk, warmed to 120-130° F (I use 1% or 2% milk)
- 1/4 cup softened butter at room temperature
- 1 egg + 1 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 heaping cup golden raisins
- additional 1/2 cup flour
- 1 cup powdered sugar + about 2 Tablespoons milk
- Sprinkles of your choice
- Combine the flour, yeast, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl.
- Add warm milk, butter, egg + yolk, and vanilla.
- With electric mixer, beat on high for two minutes.
- Reduce speed, add raisins and about 1/2 cup more flour until the dough forms a mass.
- Knead on a floured surface for 100 turns (about 3 minutes).
- Cover dough with plastic and let it rest 10 minutes.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Divide dough into two and roll each piece into a 24-inch long rope. Twist the ropes together (see photo in my blog) and transfer to your baking sheet. Shape the braid into a circle, pinching & tucking the ends together.
- Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size – about 1 - 1 1/4 hours.
- When loaf has doubled in size bake in a preheated oven at 350° F for 25 minutes. (I lay a piece of foil on the top for the last 10 minutes to prevent over-browning)
- Let cool for 10 minutes and add glaze, followed immediately with sprinkles.