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Bauska- An Easter Bread Tradition

Posted by Annie Bennett 4/27/2017

Bauska- An Easter Bread Tradition

By: Annie Bennett

For as long as I can remember, my Grandma Alice has made Bauska (Easter Bread.)  I haven’t met anyone outside of my family that makes this unique bread quite like my family.

Bauska is anise flavored bread, topped with a powdered sugar frosting. We grandkids would always fight over the ends of the loaves, because it had the most frosting.  With a little bit of butter, nothing beats Bauska! My grandma would make one loaf of Bauska in a lamb shaped pan, in addition to numerous regular loaves.

Each Easter as kids, we would go to her house for an Easter meal.  I have a LARGE family (23 first cousins on one side!) Each year, we would have an Easter egg hunt.  I vaguely remember a few years being lucky enough to have the hunt outside, but most years it was held in her basement.  The eggs contained candy and trinkets, but only one egg held a slip of paper.  The slip of paper meant you won the grand prize, a loaf of Bauska shaped like a lamb.  The lamb was frosted and topped with coconut.  My grandma would also add some dyed green coconut to look like grass and would add some jelly beans as eyes and a nose.

I attempt to make the bread each year. It is a difficult thing to make; you have to have everything just right, and be very patient. It is an all-day process.  Some years it turns out, most years the dough goes straight into the garbage because the bread won’t rise.  (Yeast is so tricky! I learned a trick- I make sure the water is the right temp with a thermometer.

A couple of months ago, I saw someone post the exact same lamb bread pan my grandma has for sale online.  I couldn’t believe that there was another pan out there!   Of course, I bought it and successfully made a lamb shaped Bauska this Easter, in addition to a few normal loaves as well.  

My daughters LOVE it, they would eat all their veggies first, just to get Bauska! Maybe I should make all year long.



6 eggs, beaten separately

2 cups sugar

1 cup melted butter

1 cup cream

2 pkg. yeast (dissolved in ¼ cup warm water)

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. anise

1 cup of milk, heated

Beat egg whites like an angel food cake. Add 1 cup sugar and beat again. Beat egg yolks.  Then add 1 cup sugar and beat again. Put together and beat. Add butter, cream, milk, anise and salt and pour over enough flour to make dough.  Add yeast and mix like bread.  Keep warm and let rise. Knead down and when doubled in size, put in pans and let rise again. Bake at 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Makes 6 loaves.



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