18th-century Dutch easter bread

Dutch easter bread

Happy Easter! I hope you are looking forward to spend time with your family and, of course, hunting for Easter eggs! To keep our energy up while searching for those chocolate treasures I made an easter bread. I found this recipe in a Dutch cookbook from 1746, de volmaakte Hollandsche keukenmeid.

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Easter is an important Christian feast that has its origin in the Jewish feast of Pesach. Christians celebrate on this day that Jesus rose from the dead after being crucified on Good Friday. Christians celebrate this weekend that Jesus, by sacrificing Himself, has redeemed all the guilt of their sin. In the 16th century, more and more people in Europe converted to Protestantism. In Germany, they came up with the idea to have Easter eggs hidden from the children by an Easter bunny. Both symbols stand for fertility. Of course, there are more customs around Easter. Think for example of bringing a palm stick around to older or needy people or the Easter fires that are lit in many parts of the world.

In the Netherlands modern Easter breads are filled with an almond paste. Almond paste was not yet added to Easter bread at that time but of course, you can easily add this yourself. All You need is 200g of almond paste and 1 egg yolk. Mix the egg yolk through the almond paste, form a ‘snake’ the length of your bread. Put the paste in the middle of the dough and turn dough back over the snake. Then continue with the recipe below.

18-century Dutch Easter bread inside
Dutch easter bread

18th-century Dutch Easter bread

Yield: 2
Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours


  • 500 g (4 cups) flour
  • 250 g (1 2/3 cups) raisins
  • 3 eggs
  • 7 g (2 tbsp) dry yeast
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 30 g (2 tbsp) melted butter
  • 100 ml (7 tbsp) luke warm milk
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 50 g (1/4 cup) sugar


  1. Dissolve the sugar and the yeast in the milk.
  2. Mix the flour, raisins, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a large bowl and add the milk, eggs and butter.
  3. Knead the dough on a well-floured surface for about 10 minutes until you have a soft supple dough.
  4. Cover with a clean towel and let it rise for 1 hour or until it has doubled in size.
  5. Shape your dough and let it rise a second time. This takes about 30 minutes.
  6. Preheat your oven to 180 °C (350°F).
  7. Place your bread in the centre of the oven and bake for about 30 minutes until golden.


If you like a softer crust, brush a little melted butter over the top as soon as it comes out of the oven.

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One comment

  1. Katerina

    This looks amazing! I beautiful, time-tested simple recipes like this. Thanks for sharing – perfect for all year round I think!


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