Pigwig asked me if I’d come in and share some of our Easter traditions with her reception class last week which I did. Apart from the tomb garden which I shared last week, (this year’s is prettier!), we also took in the bread we have for Easter Day breakfast and 24 bright red boiled eggs. I was exhausted! But it was sooo much fun and her class were really receptive.
Anyway, I was asked for the lamb bread recipe by several people so here goes. I SHOULD have done step by step photos but I thought my son had chicken pox so was a little distracted. Sorry! The lamb contains no lamb…if that makes sense. I also apologise for the cups but I mainly bake “in American”.
Easter Lamb bread
3 cups plain flour (that’s just under 750ml by volume)
1/4 cup white sugar (60 ml)
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tbsp powdered/instant yeast
2 eggs, beaten
2/3 cup (160 ml) warm milk
2 tbsp melted butter or light-flavoured oil, such as vegetable
If you have a bread maker, load all of the ingredients in the normal order and set to the dough cycle. Then check for consistency – see below.
If not, combine 1 cup of the flour, the sugar, salt and yeast. Mix milk, butter and eggs in another bowl and add your flour mixture. Beat for 2 minutes in a mixer (or get mixing with a fork). Stir in enough of the rest of the flour to make a soft dough. Knead for 8-10 minutes, adding flour as necessary.
What you should now have is a dough that isn’t sticky but that doesn’t crack when you knead it or try to form it. You may need to add either more flour or more milk to achieve this.
Leave to rise in a warm place for 1 1/2 hours.
Divide into 24 balls (divide by 2, then 2 again, then 2 again, giving 8 balls. Divide each of these into 3). Make each ball smooth by rolling in your hands.
Grease a large baking sheet. Arrange the balls in the pattern in the photo of our lamb bread, starting with the arc of balls over the back and leaving a half inch space between the balls. I copied a photo to make ours and counted out the balls for each row then just adjusted what I ended up with, For the ears, legs and tail, squidge your dough (technical term) into longer shapes. For the face, smush 3 balls together. There I go again with another technical term. Can you tell I don’t bake a lot?!
Leave the bread to rise for 30-50′. Brush with beaten egg, add raisins for the eyes and the nose and bake in a pre-heated oven at 350F. Eat the next day at the latest or I reckon you could freeze it and defrost and warm for Easter Day morning.
Please don’t think this is too hard. I’m really not an experienced baker. Equally, don’t stress yourself out if you have too much on your plate. These things are just to add joy to our Easter celebrations.
Just to finish, I’d like to share a funny story with you which happened two years ago at Easter. We were showing our tomb garden to a visiting friend and I was encouraging Pigwig to tell the Easter story, to explain why we had the garden on the table.
“What happens on Easter Day?” I asked her, after she’d explained about lighting the candles up the path to the empty tomb.
“Jesus is alive again!” she cried. I started to beam with motherly pride but she hadn’t finished. “And then we will worship His KNEES!” she cried in great excitement, throwing her arms out wide.
There was an abrupt and confused silence, followed by some surprised laughter.
I suddenly realised that in the Beginners’ Bible the story goes “The women fell to their knees and worshipped Him.” And yes, it does look as if they are staring at Jesus’s knees!
We’ll try again this year, shall we?