Every Thursday I am teaching German in a German Language School. My class is the Level 2, which means the kids are between 8 and 12. There is also Level 1, Level 3 and a high school class. The Level 1 teacher usually bakes a bunny (yeast dough) for her class to explain what Germans do for Easter. This time, however, she was somewhat sick and not really able to bake something. I pitched in and made the Easter Wreath.
I didn’t real plan on making one but helping out is one of my strong suits, besides, it gave me a chance to make something that I hadn’t done before. The recipes comes from a book called “German Cultrual Traditions – Deutsche Traditionen: Easter – Ostern” and was published here in Saskatchewan for Canadians with a German background or Canadians who are generally interested in other cultures.
– 600g flour
– 10g fresh yeast (or about 30g of dry yeast)
– 250ml luke warm milk
– 100g sesame seeds
– 75g soft butter
– 75 sugar
– 1 egg
– pinch of salt
– 1/2 tsp. cardamom (use all spice if you don’t have that)
– 2 tsp. ginger
– 1 yolk
– 1 tbsp. milk
Sift your flour in a big bowl (you will knead the dough in there), press a little dent in it and pour some of the luke warm milk in it. Then add the yeast and a bit of sugar. Let that rise in a warm spot for 15 min or until you see nice bubbles. Then add all the other ingredients and 75g of sesame seeds (except yolk and tbsp. of milk) and knead into a soft dough. Let that rise another 15 min in a warm spot.
After this you part the dough into 3 equal parts and form about 50cm long strands. Braid those and form a wreath. Place on a big cookie sheet lined with baking paper and let it rise again for about 15 min. Then mix the egg yolk with the milk and brush the top of the wreath. Sprinkle the rest of the sesame seeds on top and bake at 200°C of about 35 min.
Tip: When I made the dough it seemed a bit tough. The first rise seemed not too work and I was worried a bit. However, I continued anyway and after I braided it and made a wreath I let it rise again. This was the result and I was fairly happy with that. Baking did the final trick and the wreath turned out really nice. So, if you have a though dough, be bold and bake it anyway, sometimes it will work out nevertheless.
It should be done when it’s golden-brown but you always can check with a skewer or tooth pick. Let it cool and place on a plate. In Germany and Austria people will decorate the wreath somewhat by placing a coloured Easter egg (or several depending on the size) in the middle. If you have a chocolate bunny you can use that too.
Because it is slightly sweet you can eat it as is or use a bit of butter. Of course you also can add jam, honey, or nutella if you like. Slice it up and off you go.