This recipe appeared in the Mexico Independent Mirror March 31, 2007. It is time intensive, but so worth it! I don’t have many pictures detailing each step of the process, as I don’t make this until Holy Saturday (tomorrow), but I do have a few pictures from several years ago. I’ll add more pictures later, but I wanted this posted before the holiday in case anyone would like to make it for Sunday.
12 eggs in shell, uncooked
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter at room temperature
Grated peel of two fresh lemons
1/2 cup warm water, 110-115 degrees
2 packages active dry yeast (4 1/2 teaspoons)
2 eggs at room temperature
4 1/2 cups white flour
1 whole egg at room temperature
1. Color uncooked eggs and set aside. (Do this very carefully if kids are helping!)
2. Scald milk. Add sugar, salt, butter, and lemon zest. Set aside milk mixture to cool to lukewarm.
3. Sprinkle yeast into water and stir to dissolve.
4. Add milk mixture to yeast and water. Add two eggs.
5. Add 2 1/2 cups flour and beat until smooth.
6. Slowly stir in remaining 2 cups of flour, a little at a time, until a dough forms that is easy to handle.
7. Turn dough onto lightly floured board, knead until light and elastic, about 5-8 minutes.
8. Place dough into lightly greased bowl, turn over so the top is greased.
9. Cover with a clean towel, and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
10. Punch the dough down.
11. Cover and let rise again until almost doubled, about 1/2 hour.
12. Divide dough into 4 parts. Form each part into a rope 36 inches long. On greased baking sheets, shape two of the ropes into a very loosely braided ring leaving space for 6 eggs. Repeat with other two ropes.
13. Insert 6 eggs in spaces in each ring. Cover and let rise until doubled, 1/2 hour. The bread will rise and surround the eggs.
14. Beat whole egg and brush it on the bread. Optional: sprinkle with tiny colored candies.
15. Bake at 375, until lightly brown. Serve warm or refrigerate overnight and reheat in a moderate over for 8 minutes.