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Sweet Easter bread

  • 3 hours
  • 45 minutes
  • Makes 1 large loaf
Sweet Easter bread

Delicious made 5-6 days in advance of eating and served toasted for a special brunch.


  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast or 2 tablespoons Surebake yeast mix
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1¼ cups milk, warm
  • 3½ cups high grade flour
  • ½ cup caster sugar
  • 75 grams butter, softened
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • extra milk to glaze
  • nut and fruit filling
  • ¾ cup ground almonds
  • ½ cup sultanas
  • ¼ cup finely chopped glace cherries
  • ¼ cup sugar


  1. Stir the yeast and the 1 teaspoon sugar into the milk and leave 10-12 minutes or until slightly frothy. Beat in 1 cup of the flour and stand for a further 5 minutes in a warm place until the batter is frothy again.
  2. In a food processor, put the remaining flour, the 1/2 cup sugar, half the butter and the salt and process until the mixture resembles crumbs.
  3. Add the egg yolks and vanilla essence to the frothy yeast mixture and with the motor running pour all the yeast mixture into the processor as fast as the flour can absorb it, adding more milk if necessary to make a soft dough. Process for 1 minute.
  4. Transfer the dough to a greased bowl. Turn over and cover with plastic wrap. Put in a warm place for an hour or until double in bulk.
  5. Whip the egg whites with a fork until broken down and lightly frothy. Stir in the filling ingredients.
  6. Turn out the dough and gently push down to deflate. Roll out the dough to an oblong 1 1/2-cm thick, about 40cm x 30cm in size.
  7. Spread the remaining butter over the dough then carefully spread over the almond and cherry mix.
  8. Roll up from the long side ensure the join is on the bottom and the ends are well pinched together.
  9. Place the loaf on a greased tray. Cover with a lightweight clean tea towel, and leave in a warm place for 45 minutes or until double in bulk.
  10. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius.
  11. Once double in bulk, glaze with milk and bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped underneath.
  12. Transfer to a cake rack to cool. Spread with a little butter and sift icing sugar over the loaf, if wished, before it cools completely. Slice thickly.
  13. To make by hand
  14. Sponge the yeast as outlined in step 1. Sift the remaining flour, sugar and salt into a large bowl and rub in half the butter. Make a well in the centre. Add the egg yolks to the frothy yeast mixture and begin to work into the flour. Once almost all the flour has been absorbed, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead well for 10 minutes until the dough is smooth. Continue as above.

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