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OSTERBROT, GERMAN EASTER BREAD

mayurisjikoni
Osterbrot, German Easter Bread is soft, fragrant, sweet and rich. Its the German version of Jewish Challah or the Italian Easter Bread. Enjoy the bread for breakfast or at teatime. Leftover bread can be made into a bread pudding or French Toast. 
5 from 15 votes
Prep Time 4 hrs
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 4 hrs 45 mins
Course Bread, Breakfast, festival recipe
Cuisine German
Servings 1 LARGE LOAF

Ingredients
  

FOR THE SPONGE:

  • cups plain or bread flour
  • ¼ tsp instant active dry yeast
  • 1 cup milk at room temperature (150ml)

FOR SOAKING:

  • 1 cup raisins
  • cup almonds
  • ½ cup hot water
  • ½ cup hot milk

FOR THE BREAD DOUGH:

  • sponge all of it
  • cups plain or bread flour
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp instant active dry yeast
  • 1 medium egg lightly whisked
  • 4 tbsp butter at room temperature
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • soaked raisins drained and patted dry with a kitchen towel
  • soaked almonds drained, peeled and chopped

FOR TOPPING:

  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1 tbsp apricot jam
  • some almond flakes

EXTRA:

  • ¼ cup flour for dusting
  • 1 tbsp butter for greasing and rubbing over the dough

Instructions
 

PREPARATION OF THE SPONGE:

  • Add the ingredients for the sponge into a large mixing bowl.
  • Mix it using a spatula or a spoon. It will be like a shaggy dough.
  • Cover the bowl with cling film and allow it ferment for 2 hours.

SOAKING THE RAISINS AND ALMONDS:

  • Put the raisins in a bowl. Add hot water. Mix gently and allow them to soak for 30 minutes.
  • Put the almonds in a bowl. Add hot milk. Mix gently and allow them to soak for 30 minutes.
  • Drain out the water from the raisins. Pat dry the raisins with a kitchen towel and keep on the side till required.
  • Drain out the milk from the almonds. Peel the almonds.
  • Cut about 6-8 almonds into slivers for the topping.
  • Chop the rest into halves.

PREPARATION OF THE DOUGH:

  • Add flour, sugar, whisked egg, yeast, orange zest and salt to the sponge.
  • Knead everything into a dough.
  • Dust the work top with some flour. Remove the dough from the bowl onto the worktop.
  • Start kneading the dough, adding very little flour if required. Don't add too much flour.
  • The dough will feel sticky but knead it if possible without adding flour. Instead use the measured butter little at a time.
  • Knead the dough for 5-7 minutes.
  • Add the soaked raisins and almonds. Using the remaining butter knead the dough till it is soft and silky. By now it should not be too sticky. It may stick a bit to your fingers but that is fine.
  • Grease the bowl with some butter.
  • Shape the dough into a boule. Rub some butter over it. Place it in the prepared bowl.
  • Cover with a damp towel or cling film and allow the dough to ferment for 30 -45 minutes.
  • Dust the worktop again with some flour.
  • Take the dough out of the bowl. Knead it very gently.
  • Shape the dough into a tight boule.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or use a silicon mat.
  • Place the dough boule onto the parchment paper or silicon mat.
  • Cover it with a damp cloth or cling film and allow it to ferment or rise for 30 minutes.
  • Score the the top with a cross. Allow the dough to rise for a further 15 -20 minutes.
  • In the meantime, preheat the oven to 200°C.
  • Place a tray with water at the bottom shelf. This will help create the steam.
  • Brush the top of the bread lightly with some milk. Can use the milk that you soaked almonds in.
  • Open the oven BUT BE CAREFUL AS THERE WILL BE STEAM.
  • Place the bread dough in the oven.
  • Bake for 15 -20 minutes till the top is golden brown.
  • Cover the bread with some foil so that the top does not burn. BE CAREFUL AS THERE WILL BE STEAM IN THE OVEN. Wear oven mitts to prevent your hands from burning or scalding.
  • Reduce the heat to 180°C.
  • Bake further for 20 -25 minutes.
  • Remove the bread from the oven. BE CAREFUL AS THERE WILL BE STEAM IN THE OVEN.
  • Place the bread on a wire rack.
  • While the bread is still hot brush the top with the apricot jam.
  • Sprinkle the almond slivers on top. Allow the bread to cool down completely before you slice it.
  • Enjoy Osterbrot on its own or with some butter and marmalade or jam of your choice.

Notes

  • Make sure you pat dry the soaked raisins otherwise it will make the dough to sticky.
  • Instead of brushing jam on the baked bread you can sprinkle some pearl sugar.
  • Or you can add glace icing once the bread cools down.
  • Add lemon zest instead of orange zest.
  • Some add only raisins. You can choose to use only raisins or both raisins and almonds like I did.
  • For topping you can use ready made almond flakes.
  • For a light bread, avoid adding too much flour when you knead the dough.
  • Can knead the dough in a dough kneader with the kneading paddle.
  • Can braid the dough instead of shaping into a boule.
Keyword German Easter Bread Recipe, Osterbrot Recipe