|This year's batch|
I gave it a try.
The recipe listed a cup of sugar in the ingredients but never instructed when to add the sweetener, a misprint I guess. I figured it should go with the creamed butter, eggs, and juice from a squeezed lemon. The bread turned out pretty and light. Tasted like a bready version of yellow jellybeans manufactured by Sweet Tarts, thanks to a glaze of confectionary sugar, fresh lemon juice, and milk drizzled on top.
This recipe has stuck with me through the years – with some alterations. After a few tries I split the wreath with the half-dozen eggs into two smaller braided loaves, three eggs decorating each. Made it easier to share between two households, my parents’ , and Larry’s parents’. Both sides of the family considered it an Easter breakfast food more than a dessert. Perfect start to the day with a cup of strong black coffee. Morning leftovers reappeared on the mid-afternoon dessert table. Any leftover slices after that got double Saran-wrapped and popped into the freezer, readied for a couple more breakfasts.
Through the years I’ve learned two lessons. First, bake it, unrushed, a few days in advance, since it takes five to six hours . Most of that time goes to two dough risings – two hours each – as the initial ball of dough and then the braided ropes double in size. I guess that’s the resurrection part of the Easter bread. I’ve also learned to skip the tradition if Easter week becomes too hectic or my heart isn't committed to the process of beating, kneading, punching down, braiding and baking.I passed on it a number of times when my children were young and I worked full time Skipped two years ago when my mother died on Palm Sunday. Picked up the tradition again last year and this year. Hope to introduce it to my new grandson next year when he celebrates his first Easter, along with a mooshed up jelly bean or two.