Orange zest and raisins make this egg bread a simple, festive treat for a Polish Easter celebration or any time.
INGREDIENTS (for 2 servings):
- 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
- 1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
- 8 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 eggs
- 4 eggs, separated
- 1 cup white sugar
- 2 cups milk
- 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
- 1 cup butter, melted
- 1 cup raisins
In a small mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
In a large bowl, combine the yeast mixture, 2 cups of the flour, the whole eggs, egg yolks, sugar, milk and orange zest; mix well. Add the remaining flour, 1 cup at a time, until the dough comes together. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and supple, about 5 minutes.
Flatten the dough out with your hands and smear 1/3 cup of the butter on the dough. Fold up the dough and knead gently to incorporate the butter into the dough. Repeat this twice until all of the butter is incorporated. Use the same method to incorporate the raisins.
Lightly oil a large mixing bowl. Place the dough in the bowl and turn the dough to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let stand in a warm place until doubled in volume; about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F(175 degrees C).
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide into two equal size pieces. Form each piece into a loaf and place them in two lightly greased 9x5 inch loaf pans. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise until doubled, about 40 minutes.
Brush the tops of the loaves with egg whites and bake at 350 degrees F(175 degrees C) until the top of the loaves are golden and the bottom of the loaves sound hollow when tapped, about 30 to 40 minutes.