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Croatian Easter Bread

Makes 5 Loaves



  • 26 1/2 ounces all purpose flour
  • 2 sachets dry yeast
  • 6 ounces sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla sugar
  • 2 1/2 ounces butter
  • 2 1/2 ounces lard
  • 1/2 cup warm milk
  • 3 ounces sour cream
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 to 3 tablespoon rum
  • 1 1/2 ounces raisins
  • 1 3/4 ounces mixed candied fruit
  • zest of one orange, finely grated
  • zest of half lemon, finely grated


  • 1 egg
  • sugar


Pre-soak raisins in the rum for about an hour before making the bread.
Preheat oven to 350 ̊F

  1. Sift flour into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add salt, sugar and vanilla sugar.
  3. Dissolve yeast in warm milk and add to the flour mixture.
  4. Add 3 whole eggs, one extra egg yolk, sour cream and citrus zest and mix in well, then add candied fruit, raisins and rum.
  5. Knead mixture for at least 10 minutes until ingredients are evenly distributed and a soft dough forms.
  6. Cover the dough with a clean kitchen towel and let it rise in a warm place until doubled in size (this should take about an hour).
  7. Punch the dough down, then knead it another 10 minutes, adding (cooled) melted butter and lard. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise in warm place until again doubled in size.
  8. Shape the dough into 5 round loaves, place them on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper and let them rest 30 minutes.
  9. Using kitchen scissors, cut a cross into the surface of each bun. Brush the surface with whisked egg, then set breads aside for 10 minutes.
  10. Bake in 350 ̊F oven 30 to 35 minutes.
  11. Remove bread from oven. While the loaves are still hot, brush again with whisked egg and sprinkle with vanilla sugar.

Hudson Valley Restaurant Week is back this April 8-21!