A blessed Good Friday and Happy Easter to those who are celebrating it.
Mazanec – is a beautiful sweet yeasty Easter bread from Czechoslovakia with goodness of raisins and cranberries.
Every year I bakes an Easter bread from different region of the world. It gives me immense pleasure to explore and learn new bread recipes, the rituals associated with it, and the culture and stories revolves around it.
Like this Swiss Braided Bread called Zopf. If you love to play around with dough and love to braid into different shapes, then I think you will definitely enjoy the braided breads. They are so much fun to make and you can involve your kids in this activity too.
The best part about any festival, I like about is the coming together of all family members, celebrating together, sharing the meal together, sharing the happiness and sorrow with each other and in todays lifestyle this becomes all the more crucial, a day just for merriment and pure happiness.
A while ago I had stumbled upon this beautiful bread on Pinterest, and since then I so much wanted to make this. It is a different kind of pleasure that you get from trying recipe’s from different culture, which you had very vague idea about it, and that too such an ethnic recipe. It gives me a certain kind of excitement and pleasure and moment of pride that I have tried something different today.
Ever since the Egyptian showed the world to rise the breads with yeast , Europeans lapped it up with extra bit of sugar and since then many of the yeasted bread leavened with honey or sugar had emerged on the baking scenario. Bread also signifies the bounty and fertility of the harvest and hence baking a bread is also a spring tradition in many parts of the world. This Czech Easter bread has a history and tradition that dates back to 15th century and is considered as one of the oldest kind of bread in Czech culture.
Like other sweet yeasted dough bread, this recipe also ask for soaking the raisins in rum for few hours. However from my earlier baking experience with the rum cake, I have learnt that more it will absorb the alcohol, more it will be moist and tasty. Hence I have soaked the raisin for good 48 hours and by the time they were ready for baking, they looks good and moist. Since I was short of raisins, I have added few dried cranberries too.
Ahhh..the sweet aroma of the freshly baked bread is too much to resist….let me go and have a bite…to be continued….
If you are looking for something simple and easy to bake bread -then please check this Date and Honey Breakfast Loaf.
- 1½ cup = 125 gm Bread flour + more
- ¼ cup Brown sugar
- 2-3 tbsp warm Milk
- 1 or 2 drops of Vanilla extract / almond extract
- 1 tsp or half packet of dry instant yeast
- ½ tbsp Butter
- ½ cup Raisins or dried Cranberries soaked in rum or wine (I have used zinfandel)
- 1 tsp Lemon rind (grated)
- Salt to taste
- 1 Egg (lightly beaten)
- Soak the raisins and dried cranberries in wine or rum for more than 24 hours.
- Dissolve the yeast in 2 tablespoon of lukewarm water with little sugar and let it foam.
- Sift the flour, sugar, salt, lemon rind and add the yeast mixture to it.
- Make a well in the center and add the lightly beaten egg, milk and melted butter. Mix it.
- Knead the dough till it becomes very soft but not sticky.
- If it becomes sticky, feel free to dust some flour (cautiously) and knead it further.
- Stir in the wine / rum soaked raisins and cranberries and roll it further in little more flour.
- Knead it lightly and shape it .
- Keep it in a greased bowl and cover it with a kitchen towel and keep i t in a warm place to rise.
- It will take roughly 3-4 hours to double the volume.
- Punch down the dough, knead it again lightly and give it a round shape and keep the dough on a tray lined with a parchment paper.
- Let it rise again for another 40 minute.
- Brush the top of the dough lightly with egg and sprinkle some almonds on it.
- Preheat the oven to 180 C / 350 F and bake it for 35 minute.
- Cool the bread before slicing it.
Ohh..it seems the bread got over browned a little, never mind , the sweet yeasty flavor is too good with a hint of wine. Almonds become little toasty though ! Enjoy it with your favorite jam or simply with butter.
Have a festive weekend !