Easter Series: Resurrection Rolls

I love Easter! You may have gathered that from the Easter series I’ve been sharing over the past six weeks. This year, especially, I feel drawn to the hope and renewal that the spirit of Easter brings. Maybe I’ve just been noticing more this year, but I’ve been blown away by the beautiful spring blossoms, daffodils, tulips and the beauty of life rising from the dark ground of winter. During this difficult time in our world right now, we are all in need of the hope of a bright spring coming after a long winter. 

Jump to Resurrection Roll Recipe

Symbolism of Resurrection Rolls

Resurrection rolls celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. They are a wonderful way to share the story of the resurrection with your family. When Jesus died, his body was wrapped in linen cloth and anointed with sweet spices before having the tomb sealed shut. Three days later, the stone was rolled away and Jesus’s body was gone. He was resurrected and later appeared first to Mary Magdalene as the resurrected Christ. As we make these rolls on Easter morning, we talk about the symbolism of these events. The dough represents the tomb. We take a marshmallow (representing the white linens and Jesus’s body) and roll the marshmallow in the sweet spices (cinnamon) and “oils” (melted butter). We then seal up the dough and allow it to rise for 30 minutes, explaining that the actual wait was 3 days. After the rolls have risen and puffed up we bake them. During the baking process the marshmallow melts and forms a delicious sweetness to the inside of the roll and when you bite open the roll, the marshmallow is gone (dissolved), just as Jesus’s body was risen on that first Easter morning.  

Christ-Centered Easter Tradition

I love the symbolism of these rolls and I especially love the teaching that happens as we make these rolls on Easter. I first introduced these rolls when I was a relatively new mama. I had been searching online for “Christ-centered-Easter ideas” and these rolls were one of the few things I found that really spoke to me. Some people use a canned biscuit or canned sweet dough for their rolls and if you are in a time pinch, you can definitely do that, though these rolls only take about an hour start to finish, including the rise time so you can definitely make them on Easter morning. I like to set up an assembly line with a small bowl of melted butter, a small bowl of cinnamon and the marshmallows and my kids now know the symbolism so well that they tell the story or we read from the Bible as we make them. 

Just About an Hour Start to Finish

These Resurrection Rolls can be made with any favorite roll dough, but I love this recipe. It is based off my one hour or less yeast roll recipe and tastes absolutely delicious. Knead the dough for about 8 minutes, roll them up and let them rise for only 30 minutes before popping them in the oven and enjoying a delicious Easter breakfast. This recipe makes these rolls perfect for a busy holiday morning and they taste delicious too. There’s nothing better than a freshly made yeast roll in my opinion!

Marshmallow Transformation

When the heat hits the marshmallow, the marshmallow transforms back into a clear sweet glaze coating the inside of the roll and leaving a hole in the middle. If the rolls are not pinched together very well, the marshmallow will ooze out and leak all over the pan as it’s going through this process. If the marshmallows do leak, the rolls will still taste delicious. Just move the rolls to a serving platter or plate before serving. I seem to get a mixture of oozy marshmallows and non-oozing ones no matter how hard I try and pinch the rolls closed. They are delicious either way and the “empty tomb” is just so fun to bite into!

Happy Easter!

I hope that however you choose to celebrate Easter this year that you will feel the hope, love and power of our Savior Jesus Christ. He has the power to take any of our weaknesses and make them strengths. He has the power to help us out of the dark winter and bring us into a beautiful spring. He has the power so that when we die, it’s not the end. “He is not here; for he is risen, as he said” Matthew 28:6

Resurrection Rolls

Resurrection rolls are the perfect Easter morning breakfast to teach the Easter story and enjoy a delicious, sweet, quick yeast roll.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Rise Time 30 mins
Course Bread, Breakfast, rolls
Cuisine American
Servings 12 rolls

Ingredients
  

  • 1 1/3 cup milk warmed to the temperature of baby's bathwater
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons instant yeast
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 3/4- 3 1/4 cup bread flour see recipe note

Resurrection Roll Filling

  • 12 marshmallows
  • 2 Tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Instructions
 

  • To the bowl of a stand mixer, add the warm milk (make sure this is the temperature of a baby's bathwater…so as not to kill the yeast), melted butter, sugar, yeast and salt.
  • Add the cornstarch and 2 3/4 cups of flour to the center of the bowl. Knead using the dough hook. Alternatively you can mix the ingredients together in a bowl and knead the dough on your countertop by hand for about 10 minutes. If using a dough hook, knead the dough for about 8 minutes, adding the extra half cup of flour as needed. You should be able to pinch off a chunk of dough, roll it into a ball in your fingers with just a little sticky residue left behind. You can check out this blog post for how to check for readiness of dough if you need some guidance.
  • Line a baking sheet (my favorite here, affiliate link) with parchment paper. Turn the dough out and cut into 12 equal pieces.
  • Mix together the cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl. Melt the butter in another small bowl. Take a piece of dough and stretch it into a small circle with your fingers. Dip a marshmallow into the butter and then into the cinnamon/sugar mixture. Place the marshmallow into the center of the dough and pinch the dough around the marshmallow, forming a ball.
  • Place the dough ball onto the baking sheet and repeat with the remaining pieces of dough.
  • Cover the dough balls and let rise for about 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Bake until the rolls are lightly golden on top for about 22-25 minutes. Top with melted butter if desired.
  • Remove rolls to a serving plate and enjoy opening the rolls and finding the “empty” tomb on Easter morning. These rolls are best eaten warm. Enjoy!

Notes

Bread Flour: This recipe works best with bread flour. You can substitute one Tablespoon of vital wheat gluten and all purpose flour for the bread flour. Alternatively you can use all purpose flour but you may need a little extra flour due to the lower protein content.
Transforming Marshmallows: When the heat hits the marshmallow, the marshmallow transforms back into a clear sweet glaze coating the inside of the roll and leaving a hole in the middle. If the rolls are not pinched together very well, the marshmallow will ooze out and leak all over the pan as it’s going through this process. If the marshmallows do leak, the rolls will still taste delicious. Just move the rolls to a serving platter or plate before serving.
Original Recipe: Originally I posted a recipe for resurrection rolls using a different roll recipe. This recipe works much better because it can be made start to finish in just about an hour. You can use any favorite roll recipe if you want.
 
 
Keyword Easter, quick rolls, rolls, yeast rolls,

I hope you enjoy these rolls as much as our family does. I am looking forward to the simplicity of Easter this year, and while we will definitely be dying eggs and participating in a family-style Easter egg hunt, we will also be focusing on our Savior, Jesus Christ and his victory over death, because that means that we can have that victory too.

Thank you so much for following along with my Easter series this year! If you want to check out any of the other delicious Easter breads to make this weekend: Czech Mazanec, Ukrainian Easter Paska, Pane di Pasqua (Italian Easter bread), Hot Cross Buns, or Bunny Rolls. Whatever you choose to bake, I hope it’s delicious and brings many beautiful Easter memories.

Check out all the recipes from my Easter series linked above

Please share this recipe if you enjoyed it! Post a photo and tag me @amybakesbread so I can see your bake 🙂

Follow me on Instagram @amybakesbread, like Amy Bakes Bread on Facebook or follow me on Pinterest for more baking ideas.

Easter Series: Pane di Pasqua Italian Easter Bread

Decorating Easter eggs has always been a tradition for me at Easter time. I loved doing it as a kid, and I have helped my own kids decorate eggs every year since they were little. Even when we lived in Japan and couldn’t find our normal egg dye, we still dyed Easter eggs. This bread is the perfect accompaniment to a family egg dying party. Not only does it look delicious on an Easter brunch table, but it is so much fun to make with kids. 

Pane di Pasqua, or Italian Easter bread, is a braided ring of delicious challa-type bread with a raw, decorated egg placed in the middle that is then baked. As the bread bakes in the oven, it bakes the egg along with it and you end up with a delicious hard-boiled egg, and bread to eat for Easter breakfast (or any breakfast). 

When I showed this recipe to my kids this year, the excitement was palpable. They loved helping braid the bread, dye the eggs (just some food coloring, vinegar and water) and then top the bread with sprinkles. To say this is a hit with kids is an understatement! I hope that you will give it a try and enjoy this delicious recipe with your loved ones around Easter time.

Yield: 6 small braided breads

Time: 20 minutes mix, 3-4 hours rise, 40 minutes shape, 25 minutes bake

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup warm water
  • ½-¾  cup sugar (depending how sweet you want your bread)
  • 1 Tablespoon instant yeast
  • 1 cup flour (initially, more will be added later)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 4-5 cups all purpose flour
  • Flavorings (optional: orange zest, lemon zest, 1 tsp vanilla or almond extract)
  • Colorful Sprinkles
  • 1 egg for egg wash (1 egg mixed with 1 tsp water)
    • 6 raw eggs for dying
    • Food coloring
    • White vinegar

Instructions:

  1. Place warm water, sugar and instant yeast in a mixing bowl. Using a paddle attachment or a wooden spoon, mix in 1 cup of flour and stir well. Add salt and stir again. Then add the vegetable oil and eggs. If you want to add more flavor to the bread, now is the time. Add in some orange zest, lemon zest, almond/vanilla extract or a similar flavoring of your choosing. Mix all of these ingredients together until fully incorporated.
  2. Using a mixer (or by hand), begin adding the 4-5 cups of flour. Switch your mixer to a dough hook as you add in the flour, or begin kneading the dough by hand. Continue incorporating flour until the dough loses its stickiness or is just slightly sticky. This kneading process can take up to 10 minutes.
  3. Place the dough into an oiled bowl and let rise until doubled in size, about 2 hours (though this will vary depending on your kitchen temperature). 
  4. While the dough is rising is the perfect time to dye your Easter Eggs. Mix together 3 drops of food coloring with ½ a teaspoon of white vinegar and about ¾ cup of water (this can be adjusted depending on how vibrant you want the colors). Dip or soak six raw eggs in the colors and let dry.
  5. After the dough has risen, punch it down and divide the dough into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a rope-like strand, about 10-12 inches. 
  6. Pinch two strands together at the top and twist them around each other forming an easy twisted braid. Bring the end of the dough together with the top of the dough to form a braided circle and set on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat with the other pieces of dough. You will end up with six braided “nests” of dough.
  7. Place each Easter egg in the center of each nest of dough. 
  8.  Make an egg wash by whisking the egg and 1 tsp of water together in a small bowl. Lightly brush the egg wash over the top of each dough nest. Sprinkle some colorful sprinkles on top of the egg wash and cover with a kitchen towel.
  9. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees and allow your dough to rise again, about 30-45 minutes.
  10. After the dough has risen and puffed up again, place your sheet pan in the oven and bake for 22-25 minutes. The egg will cook while in the oven along with the bread.
  11. Allow to cool a little before serving for Easter breakfast. Enjoy!

Please share this recipe if you enjoyed it! Post a photo and tag me @amybakesbread so I can see your bake 🙂

Follow me on Instagram @amybakesbread or like Amy Bakes Bread on Facebook for more baking ideas.

Easter Series: Paska Ukrainian Easter Bread

When I was researching recipes to make for Easter, I stumbled on this Ukrainian Easter bread. We have wonderful friends from Ukraine who we love like family, so I really wanted to try making an Easter bread from their home country. Paska is a delicious sweet bread eaten on Easter. Ukraine adheres to the Orthodox calendar, which celebrates Easter a week after we celebrate in the United States. Paska is often brought to the church in the morning to be blessed by the priest, along with other foods during the Easter church service.

It is an enriched dough which is typical of Easter breads, many of which are consumed after a period of Lent where sweets and decadent foods are fasted from for a time. This Paska is a brioche-like dough studded with dried fruit and a delicious lemon icing on top. They are baked in special paper molds, but if you don’t have that you can use a tin from canned food (green bean tin, tomato tin, etc…). Paska can also be made in a larger mold, though you would have to adjust the baking time. And speaking of time, this recipe does take a LONG time. That is part of the fun of it, though. It has three “rise” periods and it takes so long because of all of the heavy ingredients in the dough (eggs, butter, sour cream). Despite the amount of time for rising, this is a VERY easy dough to make because I never had to knead it. I think it would be a perfect baking project to make with kids for that reason.

If you want to teach your kids a little about Easter in Ukraine and Russia, here are a few books that go along very well with this yummy recipe. Check them out from your library, watch them being read on YouTube or purchase them on Amazon. You can’t go wrong with Easter books that teach about a new culture.

Rechenka’s Eggs, Patricia Polacco
The Magic Babushka, Phyllis Limbacher Tildes

Or a coloring book of Ukrainian Easter Eggs: Pysanky Coloring Book

Regardless of whether you read a book about Ukrainian Easter, this recipe is a fun one to make with kids. When I texted the photo of the finished Paska to my friend, she was delighted to say it looked similar to their Easter bread! I wish I could have shared one with her with a cup of the delicious orange infused tea she makes. Making this delicious Easter bread would have only been better if we could have shared it together. Hopefully soon!

I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Yield: 12 mini paska

Time: 15 minute mix, 6 hours rise, 30 minute bake

Ingredients:

Dough

  • 1 cup warm whole milk
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • ½ Tablespoon instant yeast
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4-5 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup currants, raisins or craisins
  • 12 mini panettone paper molds

Icing

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ Tablespoon cream

Instructions:

  1. Whisk together milk, eggs, yeast, sugar, melted butter (not hot!), salt, sour cream and vanilla. Add 2 cups of flour and whisk together. The batter will be thick but won’t form a dough yet. Cover the dough and let rise in a warm place for about 2 hours.
  2. Add 2-3 cups more of flour until the dough doesn’t stick to your hands. Stir in the currants, raisins or craisins (your choice). The dough will still feel a little sticky. This dough does not require kneading. Cover and let rise in a warm place about 2 more hours.
  3. Set up 12 panettone molds on a baking sheet. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and fill each mold. Try not to knead it or push it down too much. Let the dough rise another 2 hours until the molds are almost full.
  4. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees and bake for about 30 minutes until the top is golden brown. Allow to cool to room temperature and then remove the wrapper if desired.

To make the icing: whisk together 2 cups of powdered sugar, 1 Tablespoon lemon juice and ½ Tablespoon cream. Add a little more cream if it’s too thick, or a little more powdered sugar if it’s too runny. Pour glaze over each Paska and top with sprinkles before the glaze sets.

I hope you enjoy this recipe! I will be posting a new Easter recipe every week leading up to Easter. You can see last week’s recipe here.

Please share this recipe if you enjoyed it! Post a photo and tag me @amybakesbread so I can see your bake 🙂

Follow me on Instagram @amybakesbread or like Amy Bakes Bread on Facebook for more baking ideas.

Easter Series: Mazanec Czech Easter Bread

Old Town Square with my siblings when we took an Easter trip back to Prague almost twenty years ago.

As a grade-school child I lived with my family in Prague, the capital city of the Czech Republic. We typically had drizzly, cold winters – and as spring approached, we all anticipated the blossoms, markets and traditions that springtime ushered in. In Prague, Easter is celebrated with beautiful Easter markets that dot the main squares. Booths are filled with hand painted eggs, little trinkets for sale, blacksmiths working over hot fires and sweet treats to eat. I loved smelling the hot food, listening to horse drawn carriages and maneuvering through the old cobblestone streets.

One of the more interesting items for sale at the markets are the Easter “pomlazka.” This is a traditional, handmade, Easter whip made out of twigs with colorful ribbons attached to the end. Tradition has it that women should be spanked on Easter Monday (the day after Easter Sunday) in order to keep their beauty, health and fertility for the next year. Women would give men Easter eggs in return. While I’m not particularly a fan of being whipped, especially by my little brother who quite enjoyed this tradition, I did enjoy the bright colors and learning about the Czech culture.

Along with pomlazka and decorating traditional Easter eggs, many Czech families eat a sweet Easter bread called mazanec that you can buy at local stores or make at home yourself. Mazanec comes from the word “mazat” which means to anoint, and is often decorated with a cross in the middle made out of almonds. The tradition of mazanec dates back to the 15th century, when wealthier families would often bake a small loaf for each family member. A similar bread is also made at Christmas time, but it is braided as opposed to the circular loaf eaten at Easter.

Homemade mazanec displayed on traditional Czech blue onion porcelain

My take on mazanec varies a little from the traditional. Instead of soaking the raisins in rum, I left them plain and actually substituted currants, which are a little bit smaller than raisins, and which my family prefers to raisins. I also added some lemon zest for flavor which we all enjoyed. This would be a perfect recipe to make with your family for Easter time if you are looking for a slightly sweet but substantial bread. It would pair perfectly with some jam or butter. Vesele Velikonoce!

Yield: 1 loaf of bread

Time: 20 minutes preparation, 3-4 hours rising, 50 minutes baking

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of milk
  • ¼ cup cream
  • 1 T instant yeast
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 T butter, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3½-4 cups all purpose flour 
  • 1 cup raisins, currants, craisins or other dried fruit
  • 1 egg for egg wash (1 egg mixed with 1 tsp water)
  • Slivered almonds or other nuts for decoration

Directions

Traditionally a cross was made out of the nuts before baking. This is optional. You can also decorate with slivered almonds.
  1. Heat the milk and cream together in a small bowl until warm (not hot) to the touch. If you use the microwave for this step, mix it before testing the temperature as it can heat unevenly.
  2. Add the yeast, sugar, eggs, melted butter and vanilla extract together and stir to combine.
  3. In a mixer or other bowl, add the flour, salt, lemon zest and dried fruit. Slowly add in the liquid mixture and mix until a ball of dough begins to form. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes in a mixer, or about 10 minutes by hand. Add flour a little at a time until the dough clears the side of the bowl and isn’t overly sticky. However it should still be a little bit sticky. 
  4. Oil a bowl and put the kneaded dough in the bowl. Let the dough rise for about 2 hours until it has just about doubled in size (depending on the temperature of your kitchen this may take a little less or more time).
  5. Punch the dough down and knead it a few times. Shape it into a round loaf. Place the loaf on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Make an egg wash by whisking the egg and 1 tsp of water together in a small bowl. Lightly brush the egg wash over the top of the dough. Add slivered almonds (or any other nut you may like) in the shape of a cross, pressing lightly for the almonds to stick. Cover the dough with a kitchen towel and allow to rise for another hour until puffed up again.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake for about 50 minutes. Around the 20 minute mark, check your mazanec. If the top is browning too much, cover it with a piece of aluminum foil to stop the browning. 
  7. Allow it to cool before slicing. Enjoy with a smidge of butter, a drizzle of honey or a dab of jam on top. Yum!

Notes: Rising time with enriched dough (dough with eggs, milk, butter) will take longer than a “lean” dough. The temperature of your kitchen will play a big factor in the rise time. Anything you can do to help warm up the dough (though not too much!) will help.

Happy early Easter! I hope you enjoy this Easter series on breads from different countries and are inspired to try one (or a few) to create a new Easter tradition for your family.

Please share this recipe if you enjoyed it! Post a photo and tag me @amybakesbread so I can see your bake 🙂

Follow me on Instagram @amybakesbread or like Amy Bakes Bread on Facebook for more baking ideas.