Easter is the holiday we associate with one of the most delicious pasta - Easter cakes.
This Easter cake is absolutely amazing and still soft even the next day.
Grab a recipe with a little history :)
From colored eggs to chocolate eggs to egg hunts, nothing says "Easter" like the incredible edible. Yet our modern take on collecting, dyeing, and decorating eggs comes from a tradition dating back thousands of years, long before the time of Jesus Christ.
Many ancient cultures, including the Greeks and Egyptians, saw eggs as a sign of fertility and new life; they used eggs in religious rituals and hung them in pagan temples for mystical purposes, says Martha Zimmerman in her book, Celebrating the Christian Year.
Later, as Christian missionaries observed community members hunting for eggs in spring, they began using the food as a tool to describe Christ's new birth in resurrection. "They would dye the eggs based on what colors meant to the church: yellow for resurrection, blue for love, red for the blood of Christ. Or, they would paint various scenes from the Bible on eggs and hide them; the child who found the egg would come back and tell the story painted on that egg," says Collins.
Easter Sunday Sunrise Service
There's a reason why Easter Sunday is often celebrated with church service at the crack of dawn. As the story goes, it was at early at dawn on Easter morning that Mary opened Jesus's tomb to find it empty — which is why so many churches now hold services at an early hour to honor the momentous occasion.
In fact, the tradition of sunrise Easter service dates back to 1732, when the first service was held in Germany by the Moravian Church. A group of young men gathered at the first light of dawn at the town's graveyard to sing hymns of praise — and the next year, the entire congregation joined in. By 1773, the first sunrise service for Easter was held in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
We can thank Lent for our big Easter feasts. Originally, Lent required people to fast for 40 days (excluding Sundays), but these days it's more commonly observed by having people give up an indulgence, like caffeine, chocolate, television, or social media.
The exact end date for Lent can vary slightly depending on whether the church is following Western or Eastern practices, but it tends to end near Easter. So come Easter Sunday, people are definitely ready to dig into some of the sweet and savory dishes they've been missing.
Every child knows that no Easter egg hunt is complete without candy. Exchanging chocolates and other sweets during Easter gained popularity in Europe during the mid-19th century, as companies developed methods for mass producing sweets and unveiled confections in fancy holiday shapes and packages, like Cadbury eggs.
Jelly beans likely evolved from early fruit jellies such as Turkish Delight, a Middle Eastern delicacy. They entered the U.S. market sometime in the late-19th century, but didn't gain their Easter association until the 1930s, according to the Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America.
The Word "Easter"
The celebration of Easter is an international event, but few cultures refer to the holiday by its famous name. Early Christians called Christ's resurrection "Pesach," the Hebrew word for Passover. Today, most languages use a variation of that name: "Pesach" in French, "Pascua" in Spanish, "Pasqua" in Italian, "Pashkë" in Albanian, and "Pask" in Swedish.
Our English word, Easter, comes from a stranger source: an Anglo-Saxon goddess named Eostre (also known as Astarte or Oster). The festival of Eostre always took place around the spring equinox, so early Christian missionaries in Europe gradually melded the festival's name, timing, and some of its symbols, into the Christian celebration.
Purchasing a new holiday outfit may seem like a 20th century commercial invention, but even early Christians followed the practice of wearing new clothes for Easter. "It was the one time of year when, if you had new clothes, you wore them. You dressed in your finest to go to church as a manner of honoring the resurrected savior," says Collins. In America, stores soon latched onto the idea that creating Easter outfits and sales during the season would help them sell fancy bonnets or suits.
City-goers went to New York's Fifth Avenue to show off their new attire, eventually leading to the creation of the famous Easter Parade. The song Easter Parade, written by Irving Berlin in 1933 and popularized by Bing Crosby in Holiday Inn, captured the fanciful mood of this new tradition.
The Easter Bunny
Like many Easter traditions, the Easter Bunny evolved out of ancient fertility and spring celebrations. Rabbits breed like, well, rabbits, and give birth in the spring. So, in places where the fields became overrun with baby bunnies, it was natural to incorporate the rabbit as a symbol for spring and, eventually, Easter.
According to an old German story retold by Pamela Kennedy in her book, An Easter Celebration: Traditions and Customs from Around the World, a poor woman who loved children would hide brightly colored eggs in her garden as Easter treats. One year, while the children searched for them, they noticed a hare hopping past and believed that the animal had left the eggs.*source
Go ahead and grab this easy recipe :)
Prep: 40 min (+3 hours waiting for the dough to rise)
Cook time: 40 min
Servings: 2 loaves of bread
Calories per serving: 233 kcal
Find the recipe & nutrition facts below :
For the yeast:
1 cup warm soy milk (250 ml.)
1 tbsp. sugar (20 g)
2 pcs. active dry yeast (14 g)
3 tbsp. white flour (45 g)
For the dough:
1/2 cup soy milk (125 ml.)
2/3 cup sugar (165 g)
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup flavorless coconut butter (70 g)
3 1/2 cups + 1/2 cup white flour (520 + 80g)
1/4 cup oil (50 ml.)
For the filling:
1 cup chocolate chips
3 tbsp. soy milk
1 tbsp. Maple syrup
Step 1: In a large bowl, mix one cup of warm soy milk with 1 tablespoon of sugar, 3 tablespoons of flour and add the dry yeast, stir. Leave for 10 minutes.
Step 2: In a small saucepan, place half a cup of soy milk with the sugar over medium heat and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Let it cool down completely.
Step 3: Add chopped coconut oil to the yeast mixture and add the cooled mixture of soy milk and sugar. Start adding pre-sifted flour gradually, stirring constantly with a wooden spatula. After adding 3 and a half cups of flour, start kneading.
Step 4: On a floured surface, move the dough and constantly knead with your hands and stretch the dough, gradually add the remaining half of the cup of flour. Kneading will take about 10 minutes at this stage. The dough should be elastic and not sticky.
Step 5: Prepare the required amount of oil. The important thing when adding oil is to make it gradually. Take the dough and stretch it with your hands in the ellipse shape. Put about 1 tsp. of oil in the middle and pull the edges towards the middle, closing the oil inside, start active kneading until the oil is completely inserted into the dough and it starts to stick slightly. Repeat the procedure until the oil runs out. (This process takes about 25-30 minutes.)
Step 6: Place the finished dough in a bowl and cover it with a kitchen towel or wrap it with foil. Leave it to rise for 2-3 hours.
Step 7: Divide the dough into two parts.
Step 8: Divide half of the dough into three parts and stretch each of them into long ropes. Along each length, we put chocolate and close them by pressing the ends. Knit a braid, place in a bread pan, cover with a kitchen towel and leave to rise for 1 hour in the heat.
Step 9: Preheat the oven to 175C. (345F)
Step 10: Mix 3 tbsp. soy milk with 1 tbsp. maple syrup and brush the risen Easter bread. Sprinkle with coconut sugar.
Step 11: Bake for about 40 minutes. * If the top starts to darken, cover with aluminum foil.