If you are being hosted, or hosting a brunch this coming weekend, we have a special treat today. Three really great spring bread recipes! They are each amazing to eat + simple to make at home. With sweet touches like a grated orange peel topping, jelly thumbprints and simple braiding – the homemade breads are a sure way to present a holiday brunch that everyone will adore. Besides a dip dyed flower bouquet, a loaf of bread is my favorite way to thank a hostess and contribute to a gathering I’ve been invited to.
For easiest preparations the bread recipes are printable (just like our favorite fall breads!). Click on the photo above and save the recipe to print. If you’d like to follow along as you bake – the spring bread recipes are written out, with photo tutorials below.
Bouquet “thumbprint” Coffeecake
You will need; 4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/3 cup sugar, 2 packages Fleischmann’s Active Dry or Rapid Rise Yeast, 1 teaspoon salt, 3/4 cup milk, 1/2 cup water, 1/3 cup butter, cut into pieces, 2 eggs, jam or preserves of your choice.
In bowl of stand mixer, combine 1-1/2 cups flour, sugar, yeast, and salt. Heat milk, water, and butter until warm (105 to 115F). Gradually add wet ingredients to dry; beat 2 minutes at medium speed, scraping bowl occasionally.
Add eggs and 1/2 cup flour; beat 2 minutes at high speed. With spoon, stir in enough remaining flour to make stiff batter; grease top. Cover tightly with plastic wrap; refrigerate 2 hours or up to 2 days.
Remove dough from refrigerator. Punch dough down. Transfer to lightly floured surface. Roll dough to 14×7 inch rectangle. Cut into 14 1-inch strips. Twist 2 strips together. Form into coil and tuck ends underneath. Repeat with the remaining strips to make a total of 7 coils.
Place 1 coil of dough in center of greased baking sheet. Arrange remaining coils around center coil in circle with sides lightly touching. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free area until doubled in size, about 20 to 40 minutes. Lightly beat 1 egg with 1 tbsp water and brush on cake.
With your thumb, press deep indentations into centers of coils. Fill each with about 2 teaspoons of your favorite jam (we used strawberry jam and orange apricot marmalade). Bake at 375F for 20 min. Remove from baking sheet and let cool on wire rack.
Orange Twist Bread
You will need; 3-1/2 to 4 cups flour, 1/3 cup sugar, 2 packages Fleischmann’s RapidRise Yeast, 2 teaspoons grated orange peel, 1 teaspoon salt, 3/4 cup water, 1/3 cup milk, 1/4 cup butter, 2 eggs, 1/2 cup chopped almonds, (toasted), 1 tablespoon water, Orange Icing (recipe follows).
In large bowl, combine 1-1/2 cups flour, sugar, yeast, orange peel, and salt. Heat water, milk, and butter until very warm (120 to 130F); stir into dry ingredients. Stir in 1 egg, almonds, and enough remaining flour to make soft dough. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic (alternatively, use stand mixer with dough hook), about 6 to 8 minutes. Cover and let rest on floured surface 10 minutes.
Divide dough in half. Roll each half into a 30-inch rope. Loosely twist ropes together. Place twisted rope on large greased baking sheet, and shape into a circle, pinching ends together to seal. Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free area until doubled in size, about 20 to 40 minutes. Beat remaining egg with 1 tbsp water; brush over dough.
Spread candied orange peel on top. Bake at 350F for 30 to 35 minutes (top and sides will be golden brown). Remove from sheet and let cool on wire rack. Drizzle orange icing over bread.
Orange Icing: In small bowl, combine 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted, and 1 to 2 tbsp of orange juice. Stir until smooth.
Nutty Apricot Loaf
You will need; 3/4 cup warm water (105 to 115F), 1 package Fleischmann’s Active Dry Yeast, 3/4 cup warm milk (105 to 115F), 2 tablespoons honey, 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, 1 teaspoon salt, 2 to 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 2 cups whole wheat flour, 2 tablespoons butter, melted, 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 cup chopped dried apricots, dates, prunes, or pears, 1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
Place 1/4 cup warm water in a large bowl. Sprinkle in yeast and let sit 5 minutes. Add remaining water, warm milk, honey, vegetable oil, salt, and 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour. Blend well. Stir in whole wheat flour and enough remaining all-purpose flour to make soft dough. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 6 to 8 minutes (alternatively, use a stand mixer with dough hook). Place dough in a greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in warm, draft-free area until doubled in size, about 30 to 45 minutes.
Punch dough down. Remove dough to lightly floured surface; divide in half. Roll each half to a 13- x 8-inch rectangle; transfer to 2 greased baking sheets. Brush rectangles with melted butter. In small bowl, combine brown sugar, cinnamon, chopped fruits (we used apricots and dates), and pecans; stir well. Sprinkle half of brown sugar mixture over center-third (lengthwise portion) of each rectangle.
Along each 13-inch side of dough, cut 13 1-inch-wide strips from edge of filling to edge of dough. Starting at one end, alternately fold strips from each side across filling toward opposite end; work all the way down. Repeat with other loaf. Cover and let rise in warm, draft-free area until almost doubled in size, about 20 to 40 minutes.
Bake at 375F for 25 minutes or until done, switching positions of sheets halfway through baking for even browning. Remove from sheets and let cool on wire racks. Makes 2 loaves.
Serve all three breads together or just made one to bring along. Everyone will adore the festive details that make these three spring bread recipes unique and special this season. Happy baking!
Spring bread recipes produced and photographed by Athena Plichta for A Subtle Revelry.