Easter Bread is an Easter Tradition in the home of the Giesbrechts, owners of Avenue Appliance, Edmonton. This has been a family favorite for more than 25 years! If you enjoy making yeast breads, you will enjoy making this recipe which has the wonderful flavor of cinnamon mixed in to the dough.
1) To begin, bring 2 tbsp of traditional yeast, 1/2 cup sugar (I use organic coconut sugar in place of refined white sugar in this recipe), and 1 cup of warm water. Mix together and give the yeast a chance to rise for about 10 minutes.
2) Then add the following ingredients to the yeast mixture:
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup oil
- 1 1/2 cups sugar (white or organic coconut sugar)
- 3 cups milk
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 1/2 cup raisins
- 6 eggs
3) Stir well. Begin to add flour. The trick to yeast bread is to add the flour gradually. Start with 6 cups. Mix well. Gradually one more cup at a time until the dough is not sticky and you are able to need it by hand. Be careful not to add to much flour. It usually ends up to be anywhere from 10 - 12 cups.
4) Then knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic.
5) Let rise in a warm spot until double in bulk (about one hour.)
6) Punch the dough down and put into baking tins. The Giesbrecht tradition is to cook the Easter bread in round coffee tins that have been greased with some cornmeal spread on the bottom and along the sides. (The cornmeal also helps to release the bread from the tins.)
7) Bake at 350 until loaves are brown and baked through. The AGA cooker that Giesbrecht’s use in their home is the ideal cooking environment for this recipe as it provides a radiant heat for the coffee tins. We usually bake the loaves for approximately 40 minutes.
8) Let the loaves cool. Then add frosting and Easter colored sprinkles. Enjoy!