There is often great history behind our favorite holiday treats.
Becky Low shares the story and recipe for Dutch Easter Bread.
Dutch Easter Bread
1 lemon or orange
2 cups dried raisins, cranberries, or apricots (or combination)
6 ounces almond paste (NOT marzipan, see recipe below)
1 cup lukewarm water
2 tablespoons dry active yeast
4 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons instant dry milk *
2 ½ cups flour, plus more for kneading
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Butter for brushing over baked bread
Powder sugar for dusting
Zest, or finely grate the lemon/orange; set zest aside.
Squeeze juice from orange/lemon; measure and pour 2-3 tablespoons juice over dried fruit; soak 30-60 minutes.
If needed, follow recipe below and make almond paste. Shape almond paste into a log; set aside.
Combine warm water and yeast; allow yeast to form a head.
Beat together butter, sugar, salt, instant dry milk* and egg. Add flour and cinnamon, stir only until smooth.
Turn dough out on floured surface, create a hollow in center of the dough; place soaked raisins and zest in the hollow (note – do not pour in excess juice that may remain from the soaked raisins). Knead in raisins and zest into the dough until evenly distributed (add additional flour to the surface of the counter as needed, to prevent dough from sticking).
Place dough in clean bowl, cover, place in warm location to raise until double in size (about 1-hour).
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Remove dough from bowl, shape into a elongated loaf and place on parchment paper lined baking sheet. Using a rod or narrow rolling pin, flatten dough in the middle creating a groove down the center. Place almond paste log in center of the groove; fold dough over the almond paste
Allow loaf to partially raise, about 30 minutes. Bake 35-40 minutes or until loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Brush top with butter and cool on a wire rack.
When cooled, sprinkle loaf with powdered sugar.
Recipe is shared by my friend Tim Pierson. It is a classic Dutch recipe from his family. His great grandparents immigrated to the United States as bakers and opened a bakery in Sugar House area of Salt Lake City. The recipe is a family favorite from Holland, especially at Easter. (When made and enjoyed at Christmas time it is called Kerststol). Makes 1 loaf.
The ingredient measurements have been standardized for the average American home kitchen.
* May leave out the dry milk and replace the 1-cup lukewarm water in recipe with 1-cup lukewarm milk.
⅔ cup blanched slivered almonds
⅓ cup sugar
½ teaspoon almond extract, optional
Place almonds and sugar in food processor and blend until fine. Add egg and optional almond extract, jog processor until ingredients form a ball. Shape in a log and refrigerate until ready to use.
The Almond Paste, as written, is perfect for use in the recipe above. For easier preparation, double the batch, use half now, refrigerate the other half for later. Wrap paste in plastic wrap then store in ziploc freezer bag. Store in refrigerator for up to 3 months.
Becky Low represents The Dairy Council of Utah/Nevada. For delicious dairy recipes and nutrition information go to
www.dairycouncilutnv.com or Facebook www.facebook.com/DairyUTNV.
For nutrition research go to www.nationaldairycouncil.org.