Vegan Easter Bread
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Soft and fluffy vegan Easter Bread that makes a perfect addition to your Easter brunch.
Easter bread – also known as Osterpinze in Austria – is a brioche bread that is typically served on Easter Sunday. It is sweet, incredibly fluffy and traditionally eaten with butter, jam or by itself. It can be enjoyed for breakfast, brunch or alongside a cup of coffee. There are two ways to make the bread – one large Pinze or several individual sized smaller ones. For today’s recipe, I chose to make the smaller version, as they bake quicker (and don’t need to be shared ;)).
Growing up, my mom would buy a large Osterpinze on Easter Sundays. It was always from the same little bakery and incredibly delicious. My brother and I would fight over who got the largest piece. We’d both pull off a large chunk and slather it in jam. It wasn’t Easter without it!
My recipe is a little different from the one I grew up with. For starters, it is vegan. Since it is a brioche dough, it would typically contain milk and eggs. While the milk isn’t complicated to substitute, the omission of the eggs did give me a difficult time during the recipe development since they give the bread it’s characteristic texture. I tested the recipe a good 10x before finally coming to a point where I was happy with the result.
I did get a great tip from a friend on how to create a vegan version that is equally delicious, fluffy and moist. Thanks to the secret ingredient – namely the potato flakes a.k.a instant mashed potatoes – the bread gets a lovely texture and isn’t dry despite the egg omission. Instead, when you pull the bread apart, it creates those lovely strings that brioche typically has and is perfectly moist.
Don’t worry though, the bread doesn’t taste like potatoes at all. We are only adding enough to moisten the bread, but not so much that your taste buds could detect it.
As always, when working with a yeast dough, make sure to plan enough time for your dough to rest sufficiently. This is key to getting a fluffy and tall Easter bread. If you want to substitute the fresh yeast for dry one, use 1 sachet (7 g) of instant dry yeast.
How to Store Easter Bread
The bread is best enjoyed fresh, on the same day, but still tastes good the next day. If you have any leftovers on the second day, it is best to freeze it, as it does dry out quickly. Wrap it tightly, store in a (reusable) bag and freeze it up to 3 months. To defrost, simply leave it out on the kitchen counter for several hours, until it is at room temperature.Print
A soft and fluffy brioche-type bread
- 2.5 tablespoons potato flakes*
- 100 ml hot water (3.4 fl oz)
- 500g white flour (1.1 lbs)
- 150g granulated sugar (5.3 oz)
- 200 ml vegan heavy cream, lukewarm, plus a little more for brushing (6.8 fl oz)
- 21g fresh yeast (1/2 cube)
- 2 tablespoons rum
- zest of 1 untreated lemon
- 2 teaspoons vanilla paste
- 2 pinches of cardamom
- 1 pinch of salt
- Mix the potato flakes with the hot water until you have a thick puree.
- Add the puree and remaining ingredients in a stand mixer with the dough hook attached and knead until smooth – first on low speed for 2 minutes until combined, then on high speed for 7 minutes. (The dough shouldn’t be too sticky and be easy to shape. If it is too sticky, add a little flour and if it is too dry add more lukewarm vegan heavy cream).
- Cover the dough and let it rise in a warm place for 1 hour (for example in the oven at 30 C (86 F)).
- Divide the dough into 7 equal portions and form them into round balls. Do not flour the work surface. If the dough is a little dry, brush it lightly with water.
- Let the dough balls rise for another ½ hour, covered with a damp cloth in a warm place.
- Brush with vegan heavy cream and make 3 deep cuts in a star shape, but do not cut all the way through (see photos).
- Place them in a cold oven and bake at 160 C (320 F) top & bottom heat for about 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.
- Let the easter bread cool and enjoy with vegan butter, jam or plain.
*Also known as instant mashed potatoes.
Keywords: vegan easter bread, vegan easter recipe, vegan osterpinze
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