Paasbrood, which means "Easter Bread" is a very popular Dutch raisin (or currant) bread that includes a large log of almond paste in the center. The authentic Dutch almond paste is a little less refined that what you find in the states, but it tastes the same. The bread also often includes bits of fruit. Think of it as the Dutch version of fruit cake, only much, MUCH better!
I've been looking for a good recipe for quite some time, but haven't been able to find one that wasn't too complicated or intimidating. Since I've been having so much luck with BudgetByte's Cinnamon Raisin Bread, I thought I'd use her recipe as a starting point, and then improvise.
That said, here is my version of Paasbrood.
inspired by Budget Byte's Cinnamon Raisin Bread
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 2.25 cups bread flour
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1.25 tsp salt
- .75 Tbsp yeast
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1 Tbsp orange peel
- handful of slivered almonds (optional)
- approximately 1/3 pound almond paste
- 1.25 cups warm water
- In a large pot or bowl, combine the flours, brown sugar, salt, yeast, orange peel and raisins.
- Stir everything until evenly mixed (break up any raisin clumps).
- Add the warm water and stir. If the dough does not come into one cohesive ball (with no dry bits left at the bottom of the bowl) add a little more water, one tablespoon at a time, until it all comes together.
This is my secret to not killing the yeast.
- Loosely cover the bowl and let it rest for 2 hours at room temperature. (Jen says: I'm not sure why the dough is supposed to be covered and I've read that the towel should be wet, dry, hot and cold. I usually use a warm, wet cloth.)
- Let the dough rise for two hours. After two hours, it should be roughly double in size.
- Turn it out onto a floured surface. Give it maybe one or two turns or "kneads" in the flour just to work in enough flour to keep it from sticking to your hands. Flatten and stretch the dough into a long rectangle. The short side of the rectangle should be the same length as your bread pan, the long side double that.
- I sprinkled the dough with slivered almonds. This is the not traditional, just my own improvisation.
- Next, roll your almond paste into a log the same width as your dough, and place it close to one end. It doesn't have to be perfect.
- Let the bread rise for 1.5 hours or until it has risen up and out of the pan.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Brush the top of the bread with water to give it a nice crunchy top.
- Bake for 30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.
- After baking, turn it out of the bread pan onto a wire cooling rack. Let cool completely before slicing.