Hi everyone, it has been a really long time since I could find the time and energy to participate with the Daring Bakers, but finally I have been able to make the challenge of this month; and I even did it twice to compensate ;-)
The April Daring Baker’s Challenge was hosted by Wolf of Wolf’s Den . She challenged us to Spring into our kitchens and make Easter breads reflecting cultures around the world.
She gave us two wonderful recipes of Easter Breads, but also invited us to make a bread from our own country, in this case I can choose between Holland and Spain ;-) So I decided to make two Easter breads since I had never made the traditional Spanish one from our region "Mona de Pascua Tradicional de Valencia" and to be honest my whole family (who was here during the holiday) loves the traditional Dutch Easter Stollen (the same we eat with Christmas ^_ ^) so I made two of them as well ;-)
The recipe of the Stollen you can find on this link: Christmas Stollen- Daring Bakers. I normally adapt the recipe a bit, just adding our traditional ingredients of marzipan and cranberry's and dried apricots and making two loafs instead of a wreath. It is a absolutely great recipe, since discovering this one I never make anything else for the traditional Stollen (for Christmas and Easter) anymore :-)
These were the results of the baking :-) From the recipe come two large (huge ;-) ) breads, but you can freeze them perfectly.
Here is also an image of the bread with the marzipan filling, as you can see a very generous amount of it ;-)
For the traditional Spanish bread I chose one from the region here (we live in Alicante but that is part of Valencia), "Mona de Pascua de Valencia". It is a very light and sweet bread with a delicious flavour of orange blossom water (you use quite a lot ;-) ). It was the first time I made it and I have to say that it was absolutely delicious, as always the breads you make your own tastes always the best (well almost true ;-) ).
In this link you can see the recipe and how to make it on the blog of Lolita Pastelera.com - " Mona de Pascua Traditional" - Spanish Easter Bread from Valencia. And I also used the indications from Olga who colaborates on the blog of Maria Lunarillos, you can find the recipe and the tips from Olga on this link here: Mona de Pascua - Olga
For this bread you first make a dough that has to rest a whole night in the fridge (masa madre), the next day you will add this to the dough you are going to make. It is quite a soft and sticky dough, so don't worry if you find it difficult to work with, this is normal. What you can do is let it rest about 10 minutes before trying to knead it, and also put some oil on your hands to make it easier. Please take care of not adding to much flour since this will change the bread and you really want a very light and cake-like bread! :-)
100 g flour for bread (in Spain it is called harina de fuerza)
10 g of fresh yeast
60 ml of water (as always handwarm)
Resolve the yeast in the water and let it stand for about 5 minutes. Add to the flour and mix well, just knead a bit until you have a ball of dough. Put it in a bowl and cover it with clingfilm and leave it during the night in the fridge.
The next day you will use this part to add to the dough you are going to make.
Dough for the "Mona de Pascua":
400 g de flour for bread (harina de fuerza)
12 g of fresh yeast (Lolita Pastelera uses the double amount of yeast but I found that too much ;-)
3 eggs (L)
140 g of sugar
80 ml of olive oil
a pinch of salt
zest of 1 orange
15 ml of Orange blossom water (Nielsen-Massey)
Take the fermented dough out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature. Put the flour in a bowl, add the yeast (in little pieces), the "masa madre" and the eggs that you have whisked lightly before adding it. Mix everything with a spatula. Add bit by bit the sugar and the olive oil and keep on mixing. At the end, add the zest, orange blossom water and the salt and you are going to knead the bread. If it is too sticky, just let it rest for about 10 minutes, and after that it will be easier to knead. Also but some oil on your hands :-) You can add of course a bit of flour, but be careful you don't want to ruin your fluffy, airy bread :-)
If you have reached the right consistency (light and soft dough) put in in a bowl and cover it again for rising. Leave it on a warm place to double in volumen. When you have it doubled in volumen, take it from the bowl and divide it into two equal parts. Form it into a round ball, flatten it slightly and make a hole in the centre for your egg (if you want to put an egg in the middle of course). Cover it again with clingfilm or a wet cloth and let it double in volumen again.
Preheat the oven at 180ºC. Put some (beaten) egg onto the breads and sprinkle them with sugar (or not, just as you wish). Bake the Monas for about 25 minutes and let the cool.
This is one of those breads is the most delicious on the day you have baked it; I don't think it will be difficult to eat it all ;-) During the baking your whole kitchen (or house in our case) smells of orange blossom water, really delicious, so after that you are JUST waiting to dig into these delicious light breads :-)
I hope you like the Easter baking for this year. Thank you very much Wolf for the great challenge!!!
Have a sweet day!!