Paasbrod - An Easter Bread from the Netherlands
I was looking for a festive bread to make for this month’s Bread Baking Day. I finally settled on a Paasbrod. This bread, traditionally made in the Netherlands for Easter, contains candied peel, raisins and a sweet almond filling. So this seemed an apt bread to make this month even though we don’t celebrate Easter.
The recipe I have used is available on the Internet at many sites and so I am not crediting it to any one. The Paasbrod is baked as a loaf but I found a version that suggested dividing the dough and the filling into two, making two long strands of almond paste filled dough and then twisting the dough strands into a rope like bread. This sounded interesting so that was what I decided to attempt.
I made the two strands and twisted them onto a rope only to find the bread was now much too long to fit onto my baking sheet!! Since the bread had a filling, I couldn’t reshape it. So I joined the ends of my bread and turned it into a circle. So you can see that my bread looks a little less perfect and the slices haven’t got the almond paste filling uniformly placed. My pictures aren’t the best and don’t do the bread justice.
We had never eaten a sweet filled bread of this type before and we liked it. It was nice, soft and slightly flaky with a tangy and sweet marzipan filling.
For the Bread :
For the Filling:
- To make the almond paste, using the metal blade in the processor combine the ground almonds, sugar, egg yolk and lemon juice into a paste. Roll the paste lengthwise, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for about an hour.
- For the bread, start by dissolving 1 tbsp sugar in 1 cup warm milk and add the yeast. Mix and allow to prove. Put the flours, egg and egg white, oil, cardamom powder and yeast mixture into the food processor bowl and combine to form a sticky dough. Put the dough on a lightlt floured surface and knead till smooth. Form into a ball, place in an oiled bowl, cover and allow to rise till double in size. This should take about an hour.
- Punch down the dough and place on a lightly floured surface. Place the raisins and lemon rind/ zest in the middle and knead until this is uniformly incorporated into the dough. Pat the dough into a rectangle (the size should be just enough to wrap around the almond paste roll) and place the almond paste roll in the middle. Fold the dough in at the ends of the roll and then fold over from both sides to completely enclose the filling. Cover and allow to rise for about 20 minutes.
- Glaze with the 1 tbsp milk and bake at 200C (400F) for about 45 minutes. The bread should be golden brown and sound hollow when tapped.