Gluten free Easter Bread (sweet bread)

One of the hardest times for people with food sensitivities can be the holidays when they are surrounded by flavours and smells of foods that represent the holiday traditions of their families.  These foods can instantly transport us to holidays of previous years and missing out on these foods can sometimes feel like missing the holiday itself.  This year I attempted (quite successfully I think) to make gluten free Easter Bread, as a child this was a constant of every Easter and it was the only time of year we had it.  I have fond memories of helping my grandma make it when I would visit her house in the spring, until this year I hadn’t had Easter Bread in about 15 years.  For my Easter Bread experiment I used my mother in law’s Portuguese Easter Bread recipe which I think is slightly different from the Hungarian Easter Bread that I grew up with, while the finished product doesn’t conjure up memories from childhood exactly it is close enough that a few tweaks in future years might get it there (next year I will try adding soaked raisins like my grandma does).  In the meantime, my family has devoured 2 loaves of this bread in just over 24 hours, I consider that the bread was a pretty big success!

Gluten Free Easter Bread

2 1/2 pounds of gluten free flour (I used 8 oz teff flour, 16 oz of brown rice flour, 8 oz tapioca starch and 8 oz white rice flour)
3 tbsp xanthan gum
1 tsp salt

650 mL milk (I used goat milk but intend to experiment with almond in the future)
1 cup butter

6 eggs
2 cups sugar (I will try to cut this back and perhaps alternate sweeteners in future)
1 tsp vanilla

1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp yeast (I might use less next year)
1/4 cup warm water

Mix yeast, 1 tbsp sugar and warm water together and let sit.  Mix flours, xanthan gum and salt in a separate bowl.  Melt butter on low heat and add milk, heat until slightly warm.  Mix eggs, sugar and vanilla together.  Add milk mixture and egg mixture together.  Slowly add flour mixture to this and finish by adding the yeast mixture.

Transfer dough to a greased bowl and put somewhere warm to rise for 2-4 hours covered with a tea towel.  Cut the dough into 4 pieces, each piece will be a loaf of bread.  Then transfer into loaf pans or make free form round loaves on a cookie sheet (I made both and preferred the round loaves).  Let rise another 4 hours.  Bake at 325 F for 30-40 minutes.

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