Recipe: plaited Easter bread

This sweet bread was my favourite part of Easter as a child. It’s a Swiss recipe and is similar to challah, a traditional Jewish bread. In my family we call it tresse, which means plait in French. Not only is it delicious, it’s also a great way to use up old/sour milk – see the tips for preventing food waste at the end!

Here is a pic of me after my first attempt at this recipe – I wish you as much beginners’ luck as I had!

Recipe

1 hour preparation time, 25 minutes cooking time

Ingredients

  • 1 kg flour
  • 125g butter
  • 60cl milk
  • 42g instant yeast
  • 6 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 egg yolk 

Method

  1. Melt the butter in a saucepan, then, off the heat, add the milk. Sprinkle the yeast into the mixture and mix well. Add the salt, sugar and flour, then knead the dough for at least 5 minutes. Let the dough rest for 1 hour at room temperature.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200ºC.
  3. The dough should have doubled in size. Re-knead (this will make it lose volume, but don’t worry!) 
  4. Separate the dough into 3, roll each piece into a sausage shape and plait them. 
  5. Put the tresse on a baking tray and cover with foil. 
  6. To give it a beautiful golden colour, cover it with egg yolk. If you don’t have an egg, use milk.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes (test it with a knife to check that it is cooked).
  8. After cooking, allow it to cool on a wire rack (this will prevent the bottom from getting damp). 
  9. Bon appétit!

Tips for preventing food waste:

  • You can use up old/slightly off milk in this recipe. Sour milk is a replacement for buttermilk and is great for baking. Don’t worry – it won’t affect the flavour!
  • Use stale tresse to make baked french toast (although I seriously doubt you’ll have any left over!)

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