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Mini egg Easter brioche

Happy Easter folks! Spring is here, though it actually snowed last night so I'm not sure what's going on with the great British weather.

This week I have been in the kitchen making a gluten free Mini egg Easter brioche using ingredients that I already had in the cupboard and it did not disappoint.

Easter is a big celebration for our family and food is always involved. This year I wanted to try something a little different and find ways to use up some mini eggs in a way which didn't involve my children eating them by the handful.

This recipe can be made with regular flour or made gluten free with the substitution of gluten free flour and xanthan gum.

My girls loved this bread and I had to stop them eating the entire loaf! Based on the traditional Italian bread Pane di Pasqua, which traditionally includes colourful dyed eggs, representing rebirth, in this recipe we have made it a sweeter tea time treat with mini eggs and a sweet syrup glaze.

As you may know, gluten is a key ingredient in making dough- it's what gives bread that chewy texture and pull and it also holds dough together. Without the addition of gluten, dough can be quite tricky to work with but I found this dough easy to manipulate using a stand up mixer and coating my hands in some sunflower oil before handling. Keep reading for the recipe, which has been adapted from one by Waitrose.


3 star anise

200ml milk

500g strong white bread flour (gluten free if using)

1tsp fine sea salt

50g caster sugar

7g yeast

4 medium free range eggs

100g salted butter, cubed and softened, plus extra for greasing

Zest from 1 unwaxed lemon

For the syrup

75g caster sugar

4tbsp water

coloured sprinkles and small chocolate eggs for decorating

  1. Using a pestle and mortar or the end of a rolling pin, crush the star anise and add to a pan of milk. Heat gently until just below boiling point. Remove from the heat and set aside.

  2. Add the yeast to a jug and pour in the slightly cooled milk, followed by the caster sugar and stir. Cover and leave for 15-30 mins until the mixture is frothy on top.

  3. Put the flour in the bowl of a freestanding mixture with a dough hook, along with the salt, milk mixture and 3 eggs and mix and knead for 5 minutes until smooth.

  4. Gradually add the butter, 1-2 cubes at a time, followed by the lemon zest and knead for another 5-10 minutes. until the dough is soft and silky. Lightly butter a large bowl, then scrape the dough in to the dish, cover and let rise for 2 hours until doubled in size.

  5. Return dough to the mixer and knead again for 2 minutes, transfer back to the dish and let rise for 1 hour or chill overnight.

  6. Divide the dough in to 3 equal pieces and coat your hands in some sunflower oil to prevent sticking. roll in to 3 long pieces and then carefully plait the 3 ropes of dough together, tucking the ends under and place on a large baking sheet, lined in parchment paper.

  7. Cover the plaited dough loosely and once again leave to prove for 1-2 hours until risen.

  8. Preheat the 180˚C or 170˚C fan and bake for 30 mins

  9. Meanwhile, prepare the syrup. Over a low heat stir the sugar and water mixture until the sugar dissolves. Allow to come to the boil and then simmer gently until syrupy.

  10. Using a pastry brush, cover the cooked bread with half of the syrup and then return to the oven for 5 minutes. The bread should come out looking glossy.

  11. Brush over the rest of the syrup and then liberally shake the coloured sprinkles over the bread and decorate with the chocolate eggs.

  12. Allow the bread to cool fully before slicing. What is so great about this recipe is that it's really hands off. You can make it on a lazy day or do what I did and make it over two days so it didn't impact the other things on my to do list. This brioche was so delicious and a real tea time treat. I hope you enjoy it and have a wonderful time celebrating with your family and friends. If you make the recipe, I would love to hear what you think. Just tag me @mayajoydesign

  13. Happy Easter my loves and enjoy the long weekend. Lots of love, Maya x

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