Braided Easter Basket

Tuesday, April 4, 2006


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
2/3 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp butter
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 package active dry yeast
2 tbsp butter, melted
5 whole brown eggs


  • In a large bowl, combine 1 cup flour, sugar, salt and yeast; stir well.
  • Combine milk and butter in a small saucepan; heat until milk is warm and butter is softened but not melted.
  • Gradually add the milk and butter to the flour mixture; stirring constantly.
  • Add two eggs and 1/2 cup flour; beat well.
  • Add another 1/2  cup flour, stirring well.
  • Add final 1/2 cup, stirring well. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out on a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. (Children LOVE to knead bread and have a natural knack for it!)
  • Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour. (HINT: Turn the dryer on when you begin the kneading process. Place the bowl in the warm dryer…serves as a homemade warming oven!)
  • Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough in to two equal size rounds; cover and let rest for 10 minutes.
  • Roll each round into a long roll about 36 inches long and 1 1/2 inches thick. Using the two long pieces of dough, form a loosely braided ring, leaving spaces for the five brown eggs. Seal the ends of the ring together and use your fingers to slide the eggs between the braids of dough.
  • Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Place braided basket on a buttered baking sheet and cover loosely with a damp towel. Place loaf in a warm place and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes. Brush risen loaf with melted butter.
  • Bake in preheated oven for app. 25 minutes or until golden.