The German National Tourist Board (DZT) has put together two different recipes for this tasty pastry – Osterzopf and Osterfladen – where you don’t have to be a baker to succeed!
Easter bread is an important part of the German Easter holiday. Especially in Catholic regions, bread is eaten on the eve of Easter, a sign that the 40-day fast is over. The first unique documentation of yeast-based Easter bread comes, according to some sources, from Catholic regions in the 12th century. At that time, wheat flour being very expensive, pastry was reserved for special occasions.
Since then, countless varieties of Easter bread have sprung up all over Europe, but especially in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The two varieties we’ve collected here will hopefully help create some extra Easter vibes this year.
The surface of the cheese is considered the oldest variant of Easter bread and is eaten both for breakfast and for dessert. The most common recipe is a soft wheat dough bread, preferably with raisins and almonds. However, many people bake it more like a cake, without yeast and with a puff pastry base. Here is a recipe for the latter:
Downdo you need:
200g wheat flour
2 tablespoons of sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
zest of half a lemon (preferably organic)
80g cold butter
125ml cold water
5 tablespoons apricot jam
Towards fillingdo you need:
1 tablespoon vanilla paste or vanilla extract
1 pinch of salt
4 tablespoons semolina
half a lemon, zest and juice
1-2 tablespoons of butter
3 tablespoons of sugar
60g ground walnuts
100 g raisins
Do the bottom first. Combine flour, sugar, salt and lemon zest in a large bowl. Add the cold butter in small cubes and mix well in a dry place with your hands until small flakes form. Make a hole in the middle and add water. Mix gently until you get a paste. Do not knead too much, it will be too hard.
Roll out the dough into a flat circle, wrap it in plastic and let it chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
Then roll the dough so that it places a mold of 26 cm. Leave the cold bottom in the cake tin until you have finished filling it.
Then make the filling. Boil the milk, vanilla and salt in a medium saucepan. Add the semolina and mix well. Turn the heat to low and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Stir occasionally until the mixture thickens. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon zest, lemon juice, butter, sugar, ground walnuts and raisins. Mix well. Cool for at least 10 minutes.
Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Beat egg whites in a separate bowl. When the semolina mixture has cooled, incorporate the egg yolks then gently incorporate the egg whites.
Spread the jam over the base, then the filling. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the bottom is cooked through. Decorate with powdered sugar. Tip: Place a stencil of an Easter figurine on the cake before decorating it with icing sugar!
The recipe is taken from Helvetic Kitchen.
There are many varieties of Osterzopf, or Hefezopf as it is also called in some regions. Some people like bread with a slightly stronger taste and use both rum, vanilla and raisins. Others prefer vanilla and lemon. The dough can be shaped like little wreaths with a soft-boiled Easter egg in the middle, or you can make a braided bun.
For 1 loaf you need:
1 packet fresh yeast, preferably mild
1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
grated zest of half a lemon, preferably organic
1 tablespoon of milk
1 egg yolk
Heat the milk to 37 degrees. Put the flour in a bowl and make a hole in the middle. Crumble the yeast, add 1 teaspoon of sugar and a little warm milk. Gently mix with a fork and let the dough rise for 15 minutes at room temperature.
Put the butter in the remaining milk. Then add the buttermilk and the rest of the ingredients, except the raisins, to the batter. Stir with a dough hook or a hand mixer with a dough hook on the lowest speed. Then knead for 5 minutes at high speed to obtain a smooth and malleable dough. Add the raisins little by little. Cover the dough and place in a warm place. Lift until it is visibly taller.
Put the dough on a workbench with flour, knead well for a few rounds and then divide it into 3 equal parts. Roll each piece into a sausage approx. 40cm. Place the sausages on a baking sheet lined with baking paper and make a braid. Cover and let rise until noticeably larger. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees upper and lower heat or 160 degrees hot air.
Whisk the egg yolk with 1 tablespoon of milk and brush the bread. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and chopped almonds. Place the baking sheet on the bottom rack of the oven and bake for approx. 30 minutes.
Place the bread on a wire rack and let cool.
The recipe is taken from Chefkoch.de. The Norwegian blog, Mat På Bordet, also has an Easter bread recipe, you can find it here.