- This Croatian traditional Easter meal called Easter bread dolls or primorski uskrsne bebe are made with a slightly sweet yeast dough wrapped around colored hard-cooked eggs. They are usually dyed red, but more vibrant colors are creeping into the tradition. They look charming when laid on the plate at each guest's place setting for Easter dinner. If you don't mind how the finished product looks, get the kids involved. They'll love coloring the eggs, rolling the dough and braiding it.
Ingredients2 cups milk1 package active dry yeast2 large beaten eggs½ cup sugar½ cup (1 stick) softened butter1 teaspoon salt6 cups all-purpose flour12 large hard-cooked colored eggs
Scald milk and cool to lukewarm. Add the yeast and set aside.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl or stand mixer, combine eggs, sugar, butter and salt, mixing well. Add the yeast-milk mixture and half the flour and beat well. Add remaining flour gradually, until a smooth, soft dough forms. You may not use all the flour or may require more. (I used all but 1/3 cup)
Place dough in a large greased bowl, turning to coat both sides, and let rise, covered, until doubled. Punch down and turn out onto lightly floured surface and knead 2 minutes.
Divide dough into 36 equal pieces (divide dough into 3 pieces, then each into 3 pieces again, then each into 4 pieces). Cover and allow to rest 5 minutes.
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Using 3 pieces per doll, roll into 3 (12-inch) long ropes. Begin by aligning the 3 pieces side by side. Put an egg near the top of the ropes. Pull the center rope down over the middle of the egg, tucking the end under. Pull the left strip over and down under the right side of the egg, and the right strip over and down under the left side of the egg. It doesn't really matter how you do it, as long as some of the colored egg shows through. Braid the remainder of the rope, below the egg, and pinch the bottom ends together.
Place doll on parchment-lined baking sheet. Continue with remainder of dough balls. Cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise slightly. Egg wash the dolls with 1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water. Bake 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely. By the way, the hard-cooked egg tastes just fine after being baked. The yolk might have a green sulfur ring around it but that doesn't affect the taste.
Makes 12 Croatian Easter Bread Dolls.