Easter Bread


1,2 kg flour
6 eggs
250 ml milk
300 g sugar
40 g active dry yeast
1 tbsp holy water
juice and grated lemon zest of 1 lemon and 1 orange
2 vanilla extract
125 g butter
60 g olive oil
50 g raisins
50 g peeled almonds
1 yolk for brushing over
a pinch of salt
rum for soaking the raisins

Soak the raisins into the rum.
Pour the orange juice into the egg yolk and stir.
Sift the flour three times.
Dissolve the yeast in 50 ml lukewarm milk and add in 1 tablespoon of sugar, 1 tablespoon of holy water and a cup of flour. Stir until you obtain the density of a dense pancake dough. Cover the sourdough with a cloth and let it rise in a warm place for about 1 hour.
Beat well the eggs with the sugar and add the remaining milk, the juice and the grated zest of 1 lemon, a little bit of grated zest of 1 orange, the vanilla extract, the salt and rum, in which the raisins were soaked. Pour in the sourdough and stir well the mixture.
Make a hole in the flour and pour in the mixture. Start kneading the dough and gradually add the flour to the mixture. Knead until smooth and not sticking to the hands.
Mix the melted butter and the olive oil and by constantly kneading, start adding it to the dough until absorbed by the mixture. Knead the dough until it becomes elastic and air bubbles begin to form. Put the dough in a sufficiently large pan, cover it with a cloth and leave it in a warm place to rise for about an hour.
Then it is ready to make Easter breads of different forms.
For the classical braid, cut three equal balls and roll them on a greased surface to form long ribbons. Sprinkle them with the raisins and the peeled almonds. Roll the ribbons into rolls and twist them. Lace the braid and place it in a greased baking tin with high walls.
Cover with a cloth and leave it in a warm place to rise enough. Brush with the beaten yolk, sprinkle almonds and sugar on top.
The bread is baked in a pre-heated oven (at around 160 C). First, for about 20-25 minutes, after which cover it with a foil to avoid burning on top and let it bake for another 20-25 minutes. The baking time depends on the size of the Easter bread.