Easter is the celebration of the Ressurection of Christ. The word Easter however was taken from the goddess of spring, Eostre. Sacrifices were made to the Goddess Eostre, whose festival was celebrated in the spring around the time of the Passover.
Here goes the Photo of the Easter Buns to the CLICK: SPRING/AUTUMN hosted by The Jugalbandits.
A lot of tradition have evolved around the holiday of Easter, the egg hunt, the visit of the bunny, the pretty Easter Lilies, the Lamb… Some prepare baskets to take to the church to be blessed by the priests on Holy Saturday. The baskets contains food, such as the colored eggs, meats, cheeses and the Easter Bread that is to be eaten at the Easter dinner. Velikonocni Kruhki (Kruhki = Small breads), are Slovenian Easter Breads which unlike most Easter Breads does not have eggs in the dough. It is a slightly sweet, yeast risen bread, with almond powder, raisins & wonderfully spiced with cardamom. In some ways they are similar to the Hot Cross Buns, except they are not done with a Cross on the top. Like the popular Easter Traditions, these breads are blessed in ZEGEN baskets on the Holy Saturday. Easter is the time spent with Family, & this bread is then treated as a highlight on the Sunday Easter morning.
I followed the original recipe (from About.com), except for a very few changes. I reduced the amount of butter & raisins ( there was still a whole lot of raisins in the bread as you can see), & used more lemon zest since I did not have the citron.
- 2.5 Teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1/3 cup warm milk
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 1/2 to 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 3/4 stick melted and cooled butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 ounces candied citron ( I did not use citron)
- Juice of 1 lemon
- zest of 2 lemons
- 3/4 cup ground (not chopped) almonds
- 1.5 cups dark raisins, soaked in warm water and drained ( You can use any kind of Raisins)
- 1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 teaspoon water
Mix yeast, milk and sugar in a small bowl. Stir, cover and let rise for 5-10 minutes until yeast has dissolved.
In a large bowl or stand mixer, place 2 1/2 cups flour, yeast mixture, cardamom, confectioners’ sugar, butter, vanilla and salt. Combine all until it forms a soft dough.
Add the citron, lemon juice, zest, ground almond and raisins, mixing well. Knead for 10-15 minutes by hand or 5-7 minutes by machine. Add the additional flour, as needed. The dough should not be sticky.
Make a large ball, Cover the bowl and let dough rise for 5-6 hours or until doubled. (I made the dough at night & let it sit overnight, baking them early in the morning)
Punch down dough and knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for a couple of minutes.
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Form 10-12 balls from the dough and place on a baking sheet.
Brush the tops of the dough balls with egg wash. Bake 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.
As with all breads baked at home, this one filled up the air with the beautiful warm aroma of cardamom & the fresh baked bread. We have been having these with our tea or coffee, but I think they will taste great with a spread of butter too. I loved the citrusy flavor with the warm cardamom. The cute little buns are sent to Susan’s Yeastspotting.