Braided Easter Bread

With Easter coming up, you’ll want to have a festive meal. This rainbow braided Easter bread embedded with a dyed egg will be more then enough to celebrate.

INGREDIENTS

1 ¼ cups whole milk, warmed to about 95 degrees F.
⅓ cup Two Rivers Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Pinch of salt
1 ½ tsp yeast
2 eggs (at room temperature) beaten
½ cup sugar
1 tbsp orange zest (from 1 large orange)
4 ½ cups all-purpose flour (start with 4 cups and add as needed to make a soft, but not wet, dough)

Other:
1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp water
Dyed eggs
Sprinkles (optional)

In a large mixer bowl combine the yeast, salt, eggs and sugar. Add the warm milk and olive oil and mix together.

Add 4 cups of the flour and mix with a dough hook (or by hand); adding small amounts of flour until you have a soft, slightly sticky dough. (You may not need all of it, or you may need a bit more, just add it until the dough is not “wet” anymore.)

Knead until smooth with either the dough hook or turn out onto a floured board and knead, keeping your hands coated in flour. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about an hour to an hour and a half.

Once the dough has risen, punch it down and turn it onto a floured surface. Divide the dough into 16 even pieces.

Roll each piece to form about a ¾ inch rope 12 inches long, then taking two pieces, twist to form a braid, pinching the ends together. Loop into a circle, pinching the ends to close.

Place each braid on a cookie sheet lined with parchment (you will need two cookie sheets). Cover and let rise again; about another hour. (Can be prepared a day ahead to this point and kept, covered, in the refrigerator; remove an hour before cooking).

Prepare the oven to 350 degrees F (325 degrees if convection). Place the oven racks in the upper and lower third of the oven.

Brush each braid with the egg wash; sprinkle with sprinkles (if using) and nestle a colored egg in the center of the ring. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until golden brown, switching the cookie sheets halfway thought the baking time (not necessary if using convection).




BLOOD ORANGE CHOCOLATE BARK WITH ALMONDS AND SEA SALT

Ingredients
6 oz. White Chocolate Chips
11.5 oz Extra Dark Chocolate
1 Tbsp. Two Rivers Blood Orange Olive Oil
1/2 cup Almonds, chopped
Sea Salt

Directions
Prepare 1 baking sheet by lining with a piece of parchment paper.
Fill a large pot half full with water. Place the white chocolate chips in one mason jar and the dark chocolate chips in a second along with the Blood Orange Olive Oil. Set the mason jars in a pot of water so they can melt, stirring occasionally.
Once the dark chocolate is melted, add the chopped almonds and stir. Pour evenly on the prepared baking sheet.
Drizzle the melted white chocolate atop the dark chocolate in a decorative pattern. Finish with an even sprinkling of sea salt.
Set aside to cool or refrigerate if in a hurry. Once cool, break into pieces and enjoy!




Lemon Elderflower Cake

Recipe courtesy of rockymountainoliveoil.com

1 ½ cup all-purpose flour or King Arthur Gluten-Free Measure for Measure Flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
½ teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup of granulated sugar
1 egg white
3 eggs
½ cup of low-fat milk or your favorite dairy substitute
3/4 cup of Two Rivers Fused Lemon Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons of Two Rivers Elderflower White Balsamic Vinegar
1 Tablespoon lemon zest
½ cup of powdered sugar – for dusting (if desired)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Sift all of your dry ingredients, the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl and set aside.

In a small bowl, add in the milk lemon olive oil, elderflower balsamic and lemon zest and whisk to combine.

In a separate large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer, add the sugar, egg white, and eggs. On medium speed, mix sugar and eggs until fluffy.

Then gradually add the milk-balsamic-lemon mixture to the sugar and eggs – a third at a time, mixing the batter until just combined and stopping between each addition to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Now you are ready to combine both the dry and wet ingredients. Add in a third of the dry ingredients to the wet mix at a time, gently folding in until just combined and stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl before adding in more dry ingredients.

Once the cake batter is fully mixed, add to your greased and lined cake tins and bake for 35 – 40 minutes until golden brown.

Once your cake is cooled, you can remove it from the pan and dust with powdered sugar before serving.