Sweet Vernal Zephyr

Succinct Book Reviews
(aka Creating & Whit)

All holidays are a good excuse for me to get elbow deep in the flour. This easter I thought it would be fun to tackle easter bread. After a little bit of online research I realized that traditional easter bread was not going to cut it. A sweet fruited bread was not what my mother-in-law had asked me to bring for dinner, she was looking for some nice hardy rolls to accompany the piles of potatoes and gravy and ham and beans that would fill the table. YUMMM (I'm still eating the leftovers even today for lunch)!

If you are not familiar with easter bread, it is traditionally greek and italian. It is a sweet braided loaf that has whole raw eggs braided into the loaf, usually dyed red, to symbolize Christ's rebirth at easter. The raw eggs bake with the bread. It is a novel treat and looks very nice in the center of the table. I personally had never heard or seen it until this easter season while I was trolling the web for easter egg ideas. I can't usually resist novelty recipes! LOL, sucker for disappointment I guess (some day I will post about sauerkraut cake). Next easter I will attempt Peep pie!


This site seemed to be the most in tune with that I was looking for. I have never made bread without my breadmaker before, so it is very possible that I did not kneed this bread enough. But it was fun dying the eggs! This picture is before I let it rise. I'm never sure where the best place to let bread rise is in my house. We have an Energy Star refrigerator that is not very warm on top and my oven temperature starts at 170F degrees (which I am pretty sure is too hot to rise in). Any suggestions would be awesome!

During the baking we heard a POP and discovered that one of the eggs had blown its lid! Hubby thinks that egg might have been cracked and caused it to pop, guess we will have to experiment with that in the future. The bread looked beautiful when it was done. Even though it is really brown it is not burned, that is from the melted butter brushed over the top. I even ate one of the eggs and it is just like hard boiled!

I knew that one loaf of bread was not going to be enough, and that some people might be put off by the while eggs in the bread, so I made a batch of rolls to go along with it. I was inspired by these absolutely cute bunny shaped rolls I saw online. (I see a lot of things online. It is quite possible that I may spend TOO much time online... no way!) I did a couple different versions 'cause I wasn't sure if they would still look like rabbits after rising and baking. The next batch will just need a little bit of adjustment (lengthening of the ears) and they will be perfect. Well, maybe perfect would be making them out of cinnamon rolls, yeah THAT would be perfect!

The bunnies baked up nicely though they could have used a little longer rising time as well (and a little less baking time). I was multi-tasking with my weekly pizza night with friends and this bread - the bunnies got forgotten for a couple minutes in the oven longer than they should have! I know - no excuses. I will do better next time, I promise.

Overall the bread was ok - beautiful but ok. The recipe needs some tweaking, mainly a longer rising time. And I need to be extra careful to check my eggs and make sure they are not cracked or punctured anywhere. I think that might avoid the top blowing off of the eggs in the future. I hope. This recipe was not nearly as intimidating as I thought would be. And it was a blast! I love reverting to childhood activities - egg coloring is going to be a tradition in our childless house!


Beautiful bread!

My house is drafty, so what I do to rise my bread is either put it in the cold oven and just turn on the light - the light will heat it just enough to be a perfect temperature, or I'll turn my oven on for 1-2 minutes, turn it off and set the dough in. Both ways work perfectly for me, and there are no drafts in the oven!

Thanks Deborah, that is a great tip!

Everyone, don't forget to take a peek at Deborah's Taste and Tell blog!

Good post.

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Thanks so much for delving into my head. It's scary in here sometimes, so it is nice to have company! Don't step on the zephyr...

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