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German Easter Bread (Osterbrot)

German Easter Bread (Osterbrot)

Osterbrot (German Easter bread) is an extremely fluffy, moist, and not too sweet German style sweet yeast bread that’s packed with raisins and candied lemon and orange peels. Perfect for Easter brunch or at any time of the year.

Easter bread is made with a sweet yeast dough that’s loaded with raisins and candied lemon and orange peels. Then brushed with an egg wash and sprinkled with pearl sugar (hail sugar) and almond flakes after the second rise.

I made this raisin bread today at my husband’s request and the whole house smells heavenly. Since we will be having afternoon coffee with my parents in law tomorrow and my father-in-law doesn’t like raisins, I made two easter bread loaves, with and without raisins.

Serve your Easter bread just like that or spread with jam, butter, or chocolate nut spread. Feel free to cut down on the raisins or leave them out completely if you’re not a fan like my father-in-law. I would just advice you to increase the quantity of candied fruits.

Ingredients used in making German sweet bread with raisins

For the sweet yeast dough with dry yeast

  • 500 g (4 cups + 2 tablespoons) plain flour (all-purpose flour), plus extra for dusting
  • 2 medium eggs Germany, large US, room temperature
  • 65 g (2.3 oz/ about 1/3 cup) sugar
  • 75 g (2.6 oz/ ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon) butter
  • 225 ml (7.6 fl.oz/ 3/4 cup + 3 tablespoons milk
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 ½ teaspoons dry yeast (7 g (1/4 oz)
  • 1 lemon, organic
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil plus extra to grease the bowl and the dough

For the fruits and toppings

  • 100 g (3.5 oz) raisins
  • 100 g (3.5 oz) candied lemon peel
  • about 2 tablespoons pearl sugar (hail sugar)
  • 100 g (3.5 oz) candied orange peel
  • A handful almond flakes
  • 1 egg yolk and 1 tablespoon milk the breads before baking

How to make German Easter bread recipe

How to make sweet yeast dough with dry yeast

Warm milk in the microwave for a few seconds. You just want the milk to be lukewarm and not hot. Next, put the flour into a large bowl and make a well in the middle. Then pour half of the milk into the center of the flour.

Add about 1 tablespoon sugar (from the 65 g (2.3 oz/ about 1/3 cup) sugar) and yeast to the well. Stir well and let the mixture stand for 10 minutes.

In the meantime, put the butter in the remaining milk in the jar and melt in the microwave. Stir occasionally until butter has melted. You could also use a pot and warm the milk on the stovetop. Let the butter mixture cool down.

Next zest the lemon. All you have to do is cut a parchment paper of the same length as the box grater, place it on the side that isn’t finger friendly and grate.

Now cover the yeast with flour, then add eggs, salt, lemon zest, and the remaining sugar. Start mixing, while adding the lukewarm milk – butter mixture slowly. 

How to make and knead sweet yeast dough

Add sunflower oil while the dough is busy kneading. Then knead the dough very well. I normally knead my dough like this:

  • If I’m kneading it with the hand mixer with dough hooks, I knead the dough for about 8 minutes at low speed and then for 5 minutes on medium high speed.
  • With the kitchen machine (stand mixer) I knead the dough for 7 minutes at low speed (speed 1, on Bosch kitchen machine) and for 3 more minutes at medium high speed (speed 3).
  • With the hands, I knead the dough for about 10 to 12 minutes.
  • If you’re using a heavy-duty kitchen machine, please knead your dough for maximum 7 minutes in total. Otherwise, you will be overworking the dough.

Let the sweet yeast dough rise

Transfer the dough to a greased larger bowl. Cover with cling film and then with a damp kitchen towel. Let rise for about 3 hours at room temperature or until dough has tripled in size.

  • You could also leave the dough in the same bowl that you’ve used to make it. Just rub it with a few drops of oil, turn it well so that it is completely covered with oil and then cover.

Incorporate fruits and shape Easter bread

After the first rise transfer the dough onto a dusted working surface. Using a dough scrapper or something similar, divide the dough into two doughs. Gently flatten each dough with your hands and put the raisins, candied lemon, and orange peels in the middle.

Now fold and gently knead the fruits into the doughs. Then shape into two round loaf shapes. Place the round bread loaves on a baking sheet lined with a parchment paper.

Cover with kitchen towel and let rise for another 30 minutes at room temperature.

Egg wash and bake

About 10 minutes before the end of the second rise preheat the oven to 180°C (356 °F). Then mix egg yolk with milk.

Using a sharp knife that’s greased with oil cut a cross into the top of each bread loaf. Try not to apply a lot of pressure on the breads while cutting. You want to retain the air bubbles in the bread loaves intact so that you’ll have nicely fluffy Easter breads.

Now brush the bread loaves with egg yolk – milk mixture and sprinkle with pearl sugar and almond flakes.

Bake for about 30 minutes. After baking let the breads cool down for a few minutes and enjoy.

These Easter breads can stay moist and fluffy even after 3 days. Just wrap them in a plastic or cover with a clean kitchen cloth or put them in bread box.

More sweet yeast breads

  1. German butter cake
  2. Chocolate buns
  3. Baked German donuts
  4. Raisin buns

German Easter Bread (Osterbrot)

Osterbrot (which literally means Easter bread) is an extremely fluffy, moist, and not too sweet German style sweet yeast bread that’s packed with raisins and candied lemon and orange peels. Perfect for Easter brunch or at any time of the year.
Prep Time35 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Rise Time3 hrs 30 mins
Total Time4 hrs 35 mins
Course: afternoon coffee, afternoon tea, Breakfast, Brunch
Cuisine: European, German
Keyword: German sweet yeast bread, how to, Osterbrot
Servings: 16 Servings
Author: Ester | esterkocht.com

Equipment

  • Stand mixer or handmixer

Ingredients

For the sweet yeast dough

  • 500 g (4 cups + 2 tablespoons) plain flour (all purpose flour) plus extra for dusting
  • 2 medium eggs Germany, large US room temperature
  • 65 g (2.3 oz/ about 1/3 cup) sugar
  • 75 g (2.6 oz/ ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon) butter
  • 225 ml (7.6 fl.oz/ 3/4 cup + 3 tablespoons milk
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 ½ teaspoons dry yeast (7 g (0.25 oz)
  • 1 organic lemon
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil

For the fruits and toppings

  • 100 g (3.5 oz) raisins
  • 100 g (3.5 oz) candied lemon peels
  • 100 g (3.5 oz) candied orange peels
  • A handful almond flakes
  • about 2 tablespoons pearl sugar (hail sugar)
  • 1 egg yolk and 1 tablespoon milk for brushing the breads before baking

Instructions

  • Activate the dry yeast: Warm milk in the microwave for a few seconds. You just want the milk to be lukewarm and not hot. Next, put the flour into a large bowl and make a well in the middle. Then pour half of the milk into the center of the flour. Add about 1 tablespoon sugar (from the 65 g (2.3 oz/ about 1/3 cup) sugar) and yeast to the well. Stir well and let the mixture stand for 10 minutes.
  • In the meantime, put the butter in the remaining milk in the jar and melt in the microwave. Stir occasionally until butter has melted. You could also use a pot and warm the milk on the stove. Let the butter mixture cool down. Next zest the lemon. All you have to do is cut a parchment paper of the same length as the box grater, place it on the side that isn’t finger friendly and grate.
  • Cover the yeast with flour, then add eggs, salt, lemon zest, and the remaining sugar. Start mixing, while adding the lukewarm milk – butter mixture slowly. Add sunflower oil while the dough is busy kneading. Then knead the dough very well.
    I normally knead my dough like this: If I’m kneading it with the hand mixer with dough hooks, I knead the dough for about 8 minutes at low speed and then for 5 minutes on medium high speed.
    With the kitchen machine (stand mixer) I knead the dough for 7 minutes at low speed (speed 1, on Bosch kitchen machine) and for 3 more minutes at medium high speed (speed 3). With the hands, I knead the dough for about 10 to 12 minutes.
    If you’re using a heavy-duty kitchen machine, please knead your dough for maximum 7 minutes in total. Otherwise, you will be overworking the dough.
  • Transfer the dough to a greased larger bowl. Cover with cling film and then with a damp kitchen towel. Let rise for about 3 hours at room temperature or until dough has tripled in size.
    You could also leave the dough in the same bowl that you’ve used to make it. Just rub it with a few drops of oil, turn it well so that it is completely covered with oil and then cover.
  • After the first rise transfer the dough onto a dusted working surface. Using a dough scrapper or something similar, divide the dough into two doughs. Gently flatten each dough with your hands and put the raisins, candied lemon, and orange peels in the middle. Now fold and gently knead the fruits into the doughs. Then shape into two round loaf shapes. Place the round bread loaves on a baking sheet lined with a parchment paper. Cover with kitchen towel and let rise for another 30 minutes at room temperature.
  • About 10 minutes before the end of the second rise preheat the oven to 180°C (356 °F). Then mix egg yolk with milk.
    Using a sharp knife that’s greased with oil cut a cross into the top of each bread loaf. Try not to apply a lot of pressure on the breads while cutting. You want to retain the air bubbles in the bread loaves intact so that you’ll have nicely fluffy Easter breads.
  • Now brush the bread loaves with egg yolk – milk mixture and sprinkle with pearl sugar and almond flakes. Then bake for about 30 minutes. After baking let the breads cool down for a few minutes and enjoy.
    These Easter breads can stay moist and fluffy even after 3 days. Just wrap them in a plastic or cover with a clean kitchen cloth or put them in bread box.

Did you make this German sweet yeast bread? I’d love to hear from you! Simply write a comment and add rating to it.

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