I am so excited about this recipe I could cry.
BUT! My favorite part about this time of year? Easter Bread.
Making this Easter Bread this past weekend gave me a bad case of the feels. Easter Bread is a hardcore tradition on my mom’s side of the family, and it’s something that I look forward to every year starting at about Christmas time. My mom and I have to schedule almost an entire day to make our batchES of Easter Bread every year. We end up with about 30-40 loaves, so we give them out to friends and family. But not without devouring a few loaves ourselves. ?
The original version calls for white sugar, all-purpose flour, and Crisco. It’s an eggy, sweet quick bread that’s either shaped into an egg (d’aww) or braided and baked until your entire house smells like a dream. A baked good-filled dream. Then it gets glazed with a mixture of powdered sugar, milk, and nonpareils. Definitely not your every-day snack choice, but once a year? There is absolutely nothing like it.
But friends, this version is close. And better yet, we’re eliminating the gluten, refined sugar, and…whatever the heck Crisco is! While the ingredients may be a bit different, I feel like the integrity of the original recipe still stands – family, love, and freakin’ delicious bread. ❤️
(I mean look at that dough)
Like I said, this Gluten Free Easter Bread is a quick bread, meaning that no yeast was harmed in the making of this recipe! It also means that it can go from mixer-to-oven-to-mouth in just about an hour. Which is always a win in my book.
I also substituted some healthier ingredients in place of the originals! Coconut oil is our fat-of-choice today! And we’ll cream it up with some coconut sugar for sweetness! Keep in mind that coconut sugar is rather grainy, so it won’t cream together like butter + white sugar do (see 2nd photo). If you’ve ever made a graham cracker crust, it’ll actually resemble that! The coconut sugar might just be my favorite part of this recipe because it tastes super caramely – almost like brown sugar! It forms little toffee-like pockets in the crust that I can’t even handle. So so good.
We’re also using some organic gluten free flour! It’s the same stuff I used in this recipe (OMGGGG), and you can find it at Costco! I’m pretty sure that any cup-for-cup gluten free flour will work here, just keep in mind that I’ve only tested it with the Namaste blend.
OOH! And you have the final call on what the loaves look like! You can shape them into an egg and bake, OR you can braid the loaves! Keep in mind that gluten is pretty key when braiding bread, so it might look a little funny coming out of the oven. But it’ll still be totally totally delish. This recipe yields two whole loaves, so you can try both the egg-shaped and braided options if you so desire!
I’m seriously so excited for you guys to try this bread! Feel free to make up a glaze from powdered coconut sugar and milk if you want, but I felt like the loaves were plenty sweet enough without it. Don’t forget to check out some step-by-step photos below that’ll help you shape your beautiful loaves of Gluten Free Easter Bread!Print
Gluten Free Easter Bread
- Yield: 2 loaves (easily reduced to 1 by cutting all ingredients in half)
- 1/3 cup coconut oil, softened but not melted
- 1 cup coconut sugar
- 4 large eggs*
- 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk (I used vanilla-flavored)
- splash vanilla extract
- 3 cups Namaste Gluten Free Organic Perfect Blend Flour (or your favorite cup-for-cup GF flour), plus more for dusting
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- pinch salt
- 1 tsp. cinnamon (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Add coconut oil and coconut sugar to the bowl of a stand-mixer and beat on medium speed with the paddle attachment until well-combined. It’ll look like graham cracker crumbs.
- Add eggs, one at a time, and beat on medium speed until well-combined.
- Add almond milk and vanilla, and beat again. Scrape down the sides/bottom with a spatula to ensure everything is combined.
- Sift flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon into a small bowl.
- With the mixer running on low, gradually add flour mixture. Once everything is combined. turn off the mixture, and scrape down the sides/bottom with a spatula. The dough will be sticky (see photos).
- Dump dough onto a floured surface and knead until the dough is no longer sticky, adding flour as needed. I needed a couple of tablespoons, but use your judgement.
- Cut the dough into two even pieces. Form them into flat egg shapes using the heel of your palm to help smooth out the top.
- If you want your loaves egg-shaped: Place loaves on the prepared baking sheet at bake for about 40 minutes, or until the bottom browns and the bread feels hollow when tapped. Allow to cool completely before cutting.
- If you want to braid your loaves**: Make two cuts longways across your dough. Make sure to leave a little bit at the top so that you’ll be able to braid it.
- Take one strand and fold it over the one directly beside it, just like if you were braiding your hair! Continue down the loaf until you can’t braid anymore, then pinch the bottom closed.
- Place braided loaves on the prepared baking sheet at bake for about 40-45 minutes, or until the bottom browns and the bread feels hollow when tapped. The middle parts will look a little undone, but they’ll firm up a bit once the loaves cool. Allow to cool completely before cutting. Best enjoyed the day you bake it. It gets moist and chewy on day 2.
*I’m not sure if flax eggs will work here because the eggs help the bread raise. I intend to try though! If it works, I’ll be sure to update the recipe for my vegan friends!
**The braided loaf doesn’t bake up very pretty due to the lack of gluten in this dough. When it puffs and stretches in the oven, the braids break a bit. The middle parts will look like it’s underdone when you pull it from the oven, but it will firm up a bit as it cools – those middle parts will still be a little chewy and underdone, but they’re one of my favorite parts of the bread!
Baking Gluten Free Easter Bread: Step-by-Step
Step 1: Once you’ve kneaded your dough and have added enough flour so that it is no longer sticky, cut your dough in half so that you have 2 pieces. Take one half and form it into a flat egg shape. I find that using the heel of my palm helps to get it nice and even on the top!
After it’s egg-shaped, feel free to bake it just as is! It comes out as a beautiful traditional loaf of bread that’s perfect slathered with some coconut oil or nut butter. OR you can braid your loves…
Step 2: If you want to braid your loaves, make two cuts longways across your dough. Make sure to leave a little bit at the top so that you’ll be able to braid it!
Step 4: Take one strand and fold it over the one directly beside it, just like if you were braiding your hair! Continue down the loaf until you can’t braid anymore, then pinch the bottom closed. Voila! Beautiful!
I noted it in the recipe, but it’s worth mentioning here as well – the braided loaf doesn’t bake up very pretty due to the lack of gluten in this dough. When it puffs and stretches in the oven, the braids break a bit. The middle parts will look like it’s underdone when you pull it from the oven, but everything will firm up as it cools – those middle parts are a little chewy and underdone, but they’re one of my favorite parts of the bread! BUT if you’re not akin to some underdone-ness, bake up some egg-shaped loaves. You’ll LOVE it.
A special thank you goes to Costco for supplying me with some of their super high-quality products that I love for this recipe! I used their Namaste Gluten Free Flour and their Kirkland Vanilla Extract in this Gluten Free Easter Bread today. All opinions are my own.
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