Daring Bakers: Paasbrood, Dutch Easter Bread

The challenge for the Daring Bakers this month was Easter Bread, which was perfect.  Easter was on the 20th this month, so of course you’d make your Easter bread and serve it at your Easter meal and then post about it a week later.  Unless of course you’re like me and procrastinate most of the challenges until just a few days before the posting date!  So while I did make an Easter bread for Good Friday, this bread is just for The Daring Bakers and was made well after Easter.

Paasbrood: Dutch Easter Bread | Hottie Biscotti

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.

I chose to make a Dutch Easter bread called Paasbrood.  I noticed many similarities in Easter breads as I searched for one to make.  Many had dried fruits, like raisins, and many were braided either in long loaves or circles.  This Dutch bread has raisins, and candied fruit peel (which I did not use) and is twisted into a long loaf.  Oh, and it’s stuffed with almond paste!  I couldn’t imagine anything better.

Paasbrood: Dutch Easter Bread | Hottie Biscotti

I found a recipe that looked reliable here, and I changed just a few things.  I used pre-made almond paste instead of making my own.  I also used a mixture of all-purpose flour and almond meal in the bread dough.  I could not find candied fruit peel, and to be honest I didn’t try all that hard.  I also added in some cinnamon with the cardamom.  As a result this bread was very similar to the Hot Cross Buns I made last week, with the exception of the almond filling. The dough was pretty easy to deal with and had good texture and flavor after baking. The almond paste, which I was totally excited about, wound up being a little much for me.  Maybe I should have used less of it.  I divided a 7 ounce tube in half, rolled the halves into long ropes and put them inside each piece of dough.

Paasbrood Prep | Hottie Biscotti Paasbrood Prep | Hottie Biscotti Paasbrood Prep | Hottie Biscotti Paasbrood Prep | Hottie Biscotti Paasbrood Prep | Hottie Biscotti Paasbrood Prep | Hottie Biscotti Paasbrood: Dutch Easter Bread | Hottie Biscotti

When I ate a piece of the bread just after glazing I found myself breaking up the paste a little and kind of spreading it out onto the bread instead of taking a bite of mostly almond paste.  And while the flavor of the bread was terrific, I wasn’t all that impressed with the almond paste filling.  Maybe it just needed to be less concentrated.  Or maybe I should have made my own so that the texture would’ve been different.  But overall the bread was nice and toasting a slice and spreading a little butter on it is a really nice way to enjoy it.

Paasbrood: Dutch Easter Bread | Hottie Biscotti Paasbrood: Dutch Easter Bread | Hottie Biscotti

Paasbrood (Dutch Easter Bread)

Adapted from

Makes 1 loaf


  • 1/2 cup whole milk, warmed to about 100°F
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons yeast
  • 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour, plus extra flour for dough and counter
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 teaspoon caradmom
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons of butter, melted
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1 tube (7 ounces) almond paste
  • powdered sugar
  • water or milk
  • red food coloring (optional)


  1. Combine milk, yeast and sugar in a small bowl or measuring cup and allow to sit for 5 minutes, until foamy.
  2. Whisk flour, spices, salt and lemon zest in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.  Add in milk mixture, egg and butter and turn mixer on low to start mixing, then on medium for 4-5 minutes.  Add in a few tablespoons of flour if dough is very sticky.  Once dough reaches a consistency where it is becoming more elastic than sticky, cover bowl with a towel and allow to rise in a warm place for an hour.
  3. Divide almond paste into two equal sized pieces and roll each into a log about 12 inches long.
  4. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  5. Flour a clean work surface and turn dough out.  Knead in the raisins, then divide dough in half.  Roll each half into a long rectangle a little longer than the almond paste log and a couple inches wide.
  6. Place the almond log in the center of the dough piece and enclose it by pinching the dough around it.  Repeat with the other dough and almond paste.
  7. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Place the dough pieces side by side on the sheet and pinch two end together, then twist the dough about 4 times, then pinch bottom ends together.
  8. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350°F and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes, until bread is nicely browned.  Cool completely on a wire rack before drizzling with the glaze.
  9. Make the glaze: Mix about 1 cup of powdered sugar with either water or milk (you could also use lemon juice, like I did, but I would not do it again) a teaspoon at a time until it reaches a good drizzling consistency.  You can color with food coloring if you’d like at this point.  Drizzle over the bread and allow to set before cutting and serving.

Skolebrød: Norwegian School Bread

Thanks to my sister I am now aware of this bread’s existence and of its ability to lure you into eating it when you’re not even the slightest bit hungry.  It’s evil.  Thanks a lot, Lisa…


Lisa had this pastry at Epcot when she and her family were at Disney World on vacation recently.  She asked if I’d try it out and let her know if it was worth the time and effort.  As I began searching the internet for recipes I found that many people have developed an obsession with the bread as a result of visiting Disney.  But as far as I can tell it’s not a Disney invention, but really a Norwegian pastry, a bun filled with custard and iced then covered in coconut.  You can maybe understand now why it’s so evil.  I love all of those things and when you put them together it becomes irresistible.


These are a labor of love.  And they will take you the better part of an afternoon (or morning) to complete.  BUT they are worth it, as long as you have someone (or many someones) to share them with or an event to make them for.  The recipe makes 20-24 buns and they are best eaten the day they’re made or the day after.  I didn’t try to freeze any, but am unsure how the custard would freeze and am fairly certain it wouldn’t be the same after it’s thawed.  So I suggest making these for a breakfast, brunch, baby or bridal shower where you’ll be serving quite a few people.  That way they’ll all be consumed at their peak of deliciousness and you’re guaranteed to make friends for life.

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This recipe for skolebrød came from a blog I’ve just discovered, Five and Spice.  It’s a lovely blog with delicious sounding and amazing looking food.  I’m so glad to have found it!  I didn’t change a thing from the original recipe and wouldn’t in the future.  The bread is amazing on its own.  I’d consider making it into rolls or a braided bread and serving with butter and lingonberry jam some time.  The custard is pretty simple and has good flavor and consistency.  Make sure to use good vanilla.  The coconut on top provides a terrific crunch.  I used unsweetened coconut chips, but ended up running out and using sweetened flaked coconut for the last few.  It was not only more difficult to put on the buns, but wasn’t as good.  Stick with the unsweetened stuff.

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Consider making these.  You will feel like you’ve accomplished something great when you’re done…because you have!  It’s a lot of work, but again, well worth it.



From Five and Spice



  • 1 stick of butter, melted
  • 3 cups whole milk, warm
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons yeast
  • 2 teaspoons cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6-7 cups flour


  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • unsweetened shredded coconut or coconut chips



  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, stir together milk, butter and sugar then check the temperature, it should be between 100 and 110°F.  Sprinkle the yeast on top, stir once, then let sit for about 10 minutes, until mixture is foamy.
  2. Stir in the cardamom and salt.
  3. Add in flour, 1 cup at a time, until you’ve mixed in 6 cups.  At this point you will probably need to add in 1/2 cup flour.  The dough should be fairly loose and sticky, not dense like a bread dough.  If it still seems too loose, add in 1/4 cup, mix again.  Add the additional 1/4 cup if you have to.
  4. Transfer the dough into a large greased bowl, cover with a clean dish towel and let rise for at least 1 hour, until doubled in size.


  1. In a small bowl whisk egg, egg yolks, sugar and cornstarch.
  2. In a saucepan heat cream and milk over medium heat just until it begins to simmer.  Temper the eggs by adding 1/4 cup of the warm milk to the eggs, whisking while you add it, then another 1/4 cup.
  3. Now, with the heat on medium-low, whisk the egg mixture back into the milk and cook, whisking constantly to keep it from getting lumpy, until the mixture thickens to a pudding-like consistency.
  4. Remove from the heat, stir in the vanilla, transfer to a bowl and let cool.

Form the buns

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Line 3 (maybe 4…) cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Flour a clean surface and turn dough out.  It will be sticky!  have extra flour on hand!  Divide the dough into 20-24 pieces, as equal as you can get them.
  4. Roll each piece into a ball and place them on the cookie sheets, 5-6 per cookie sheet with enough space between for them to rise when baked.
  5. Cover with clean dish towels and let rest for 30 minutes.
  6. Form a crater in the center of each bun and fill with custard using a spoon or a pastry bag.
  7. Bake each batch for about 15 minutes, until the edges of the buns have browned a bit.
  8. Let cool completely on wire racks.

Top the buns

  1. Whisk together the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla.  You want a consistency that isn’t too thin, but not too thick.  You don’t want it to drip off the sides of the buns.
  2. With an offset spatula or spoon, spread some glaze onto  the top of the bun, around the custard.
  3. Press some coconut onto the bun, gently shaking off any excess.
  4. Repeat with the remaining buns.


Cardamom Pound Cake

In Waco, our HEB had a bulk section where I could purchase just enough of a spice I needed for a recipe and pay a measly $0.27 for it.  Here, I have to purchase an entire jar of a spice when I only need 2 teaspoons, and pay $5.99.  A jar of cardamom was such a purchase, so I decided to use some of it instead of neglecting it in the spice cabinet and letting my $5.99 go to waste.

This recipe is from Martha Stewart.  In addition to the cardamom, the use of semolina flour and almond flour drew me to this cake because I had both of those ingredients.  What are the chances?  These were purchased as specialty ingredients in other recipes and I was glad to be able to use them.

The cake is dense and rich, as a pound cake should be.  The texture is more complex than your everyday plain pound cake, which is to be expected due to the use of the coarse almond flour.  The cardamom is definitely noticeable, but not overwhelming.  When a recipe says “room temperature” you should have those ingredients at room temperature.  This is an easy task.  Just leave them out of the fridge for a few hours.  It does make a difference in a pound cake, and most recipes.  The ingredients come together much more easily, and the texture seems better.  I know there is some science behind it, and I have even read an article about it, but I can’t explain all of that to you.  I just know that I’ve done it both ways and having your butter, eggs and other wet ingredients like milk, buttermilk, sour cream, etc, makes for better cakes.


Cardamom Pound Cake (courtesy of Martha Stewart)

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
  • 3/4 cup almond flour
  • 3/4 cup semolina flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1 ¼  teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 6 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup plain yogurt, preferably Greek
  1. Preheat oven to 325. Butter two 9-by-5-inch loaf pans. Sugar the pans as you would with flour, and tap out excess. Whisk together flours, salt, cardamom, and baking soda.
  2. Beat butter and granulated sugar with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Raise speed to high, and beat until smooth and glossy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low, and beat in flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with yogurt. Divide batter between pans.
  3. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into centers comes out clean, about 1 hour, 15 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack 20 minutes. Run a knife around edges of cakes to loosen, and turn out cakes onto rack. Turn right side up, and let cool completely. (Cakes can be wrapped in plastic and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days.)