Makes 5 or 6 depending on the size
This is a fluffy, light bread which is such fun to make. And, as it’s sweet, you can be sure the children will devour lots of it. Smaller eggs work better in this recipe and the dough is braided around the eggs.
½ tsp salt
2 tsp fast action dried yeast
Zest of 1 lemon
180ml milk, you may need a little more
6 coloured small eggs see below how to colour them
Egg wash, for glazing
Place the flour, sugar, salt, lemon zest and yeast in the mixer bowl and insert the dough hook attachment. Gently melt the butter and add the milk, cool slightly before whisking in the egg. Check the temperature as it should not be too hot. Pour over the dry ingredients and mix until soft dough is formed. “Knead” in the machine for about 4 to 5 minutes until smooth dough has formed.
Oil a large bowl and place the dough into the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and leave to rise in a warm place. This will probably take about 2 hours. When the dough has doubled in size, place on a floured surface and “knock back” and knead for 2 to 3 minutes by hand.
Divide the dough into 6 and then divide these pieces into two again. Using your fingers roll out each piece into a 25cm rope. Braid each rope into a double braid and turn into a circle. Do the same with the remaining ropes and place on baking trays lined with parchment.
Preheat the oven to 190°C/Fan 170°C/Gas 5.
Oil a piece of plastic wrap and loosely cover the dough. Leave to rise in a warm place for a further 20 to 25 minutes.
Insert the eggs into the dough in the centre. Glaze the top again with egg wash taking care not to egg wash the coloured egg. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden.
Place on a cooling rack.
To colour the eggs, use 1 tbsp white vinegar to 250ml boiling water. Pour the vinegar, coloured food paste and boiling water into a bowl. Use a cocktail stick to measure out the coloured paste. Cool the liquid for 15 minutes. Place eggs onto a slotted spoon to submerse into the coloured liquid – do this one by one and leave for 3 to 5 hours depending on how deep you want colour to be.