Eggless Osterbrot - German Easter Bread

Osterbrot is the German Easter Bread which is soft and cake like. Studded with black currants and lemon zest they are very delicious. This bread has eggs and cake flour and so the texture is more cake like than a bread. For this month's Daring Baker's Challenge, Wolf of Wolf's Den suggested some traditional easter breads. Osterbrot was one among them. The recipe was very different and as I haven't used cake flour to make breads, I thought this would be a nice opportunity to experiment. And after started mixing the flour, I realised that I didn't have raisins. So after some thought, I used the dried apricot instead. 

The bread started developing cracks while baking. But that was due to the corn flour in the dough. I topped the bread with sliced almonds and they started browning very fast. So for the whole baking period, I covered the bread with aluminium foil and I just loved the crust. It was so beautiful. We toasted the slices and relished it with the stawberry jam I made recently. The bread was over within two days. Linking this to Yeastspotting.

Recipe Source: Wolf
Makes 1 round Loaf
Black Raisins-1 cup ( I used dried apricots)
Almond-1/4 cup
Milk-1/3 cup

For The Sponge:
Cake Flour*-1 2/5 cups (see notes)
Instant Yeast-1/4 tsp
Cold Milk-2/3 cup

For The Dough:
Cake Flour*-1 2/5 cups (see notes)
Sugar-3 tbs
Instant Yeast-1 tsp
Salt-1/2 tsp
Butter-3 1/2 tbs
Lemon/ Orange Zest-1 tsp
Milk-1/3 cup used for soaking almonds
Apple Cider Vinegar-1 tsp

Sliced Almonds for topping

1. Soak raisins in warm water for 30 minutes. Drain water and reserve the raisins.
2. Soak the almonds in milk for 30 minutes.
3. Drain the almonds and reserve both milk and almonds.

For The Sponge:
1. Mix together flour, yeast and milk.
2. Cover with cling wrap and set aside for 1-2 hours until double.

For The Dough:
1. To the sponge add the flour, sugar, salt, yeast.
2. Mix the milk and apple cider vinegar and let it stand for 5 minutes.
3. Add this to the sponge and mix all the ingredients to form a slightly sticky dough.
4. Add the butter and knead to incorporate.
5. Add the raisins, almonds and orange zest. Knead it again to incorporate.
6.  Dust the counter with flour and knead the dough for 10 minutes.
7. Now shape the dough into a round loaf and let it rest for 30 minutes.
8. Preheat oven to 200C. Place a deep tray in the lower shelf of oven.
9. Place the loaf on a greased baking tray. Make a cross slit on top.
10. Brush the top with milk and sprinkle sliced almonds evenly.
11. Now place the tray with the loaf in the middle rack.
12. Pour boiling water into the deep tray in the lower shelf and close the oven immediately.
13. Bake for 35-45 minutes. If you feel that the bread's crust is browning fast, then cover it with a foil and bake.
14. Cool on a wire rack completely before slicing.
15. Enjoy the flavouful bread.

*Notes: For home made Cake Flour, take 3 cups of maida in a bowl, remove three tsp of flour from the bowl and add 3 tsp of corn flour to the flour. Mix thoroughly with a whisk. Use this in the recipe instead of cake flour. 

Mix flour, yeast and cold milk.

Knead the dough and let it rise for 1-2 hours.

Chop soaked almonds and apricots ( if using raisins skip this step).

Mix flour, sugar, salt, yeast to the sponge.

Add the milk vinegar mixture.

Mix and then add the butter.

Add in the almonds and raisins/ apricots.

Shape into a loaf and keep it covered for 30 minutes.

Make a cross cut on top.

Brush with milk and sprinkle almonds on top.

Bake with steam until done.

Remove from oven and cool completely.

Is the bread cute? We just loved it...

Slice it up. Look at the texture..

The apricots gave a nice look to the slices. I think raisins would make it look even better.

Toast and spread the jam of your like and enjoy!!!

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