Which would you rather get to encourage you to come to church for Easter? A postcard that tells you how wonderful the church is or a really great recipe? Of course churches are going to talk about how wonderful they are at Easter time, but a great recipe for free—that's different and might get attention in a way something else won't.
Everybody loves recipes and this Greek Easter Bread is exceptionally delicious. It's my version of a recipe given to me years ago by a very dear Greek friend. It's a sweet yeast bread (not a coffee cake) and bakes up beautifully. In addition to serving the main version for Easter, I came up with an alternate version to serve with soup, especially something like tortilla soup, any time of the year. In this variation, you add jalapeno peppers and cheddar cheese--it is sooooooooooo good. The regular version makes great French Toast and the Cheddar/Jalapeno version is fantastic oven-toasted. Either way, it's something everyone would love.
Below are finished cards for the recipe that you can personalize on the back and below I included a print of the recipe. The link to the ZIP file for them is at the end of this article.
Here are some ways you can use the recipe for Easter Outreach:
**You could make up copies of the card and on the back have an invitation to an Easter event at your church.
**You could invite people to a bread-making lesson at church, open to anyone as a way for people to come to your church in a non-threatening way before Easter.
**You could make up a PDF of the recipe and offer it as a download from your website. Advertise this in the postcards or door-hangers you give out to invite people to Easter Events. This would be a nice welcome for visitors. Let them know that the recipe is a welcome gift is waiting for them on the website.
**Submit the recipe to a community or school paper along with an invitation to come to your church for Easter events.
Note: I own the rights to the recipe (actually it was in a cookbook I wrote) and I freely grant any use of it that you want for the sake of Easter sharing--no attribution needed.
Greek Easter Bread
from Yvon Prehn
This is a very rich, very sweet bread—a treasured recipe from a very dear Greek friend.
1 ½ cups lukewarm milk
2 packages active dry yeast
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups sugar
5 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup melted butter or margarine
8 or more cups flour
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon sesame seed
Heat milk, but do not allow to boil. Cool to lukewarm. Sprinkle yeast over the top and allow to sit for 5 minutes.
Add salt and sugar, stirring until dissolved. Add beaten eggs, vanilla, and butter or margarine; mix well. Add enough flour to form a stiff dough. Turn out of the bowl on to a floured board.
The dough will be sticky when you begin to knead it, but continue to add flour as you knead, until the dough is smooth. Knead for about 10 minutes. Place in a large greased bowl and allow to rise in a warm place until double in bulk, about 1 hour. Punch down.
Divide into three parts. Roll each part into a rope about 15 inches long. Braid together and tuck under each end. Cover and allow to rise until double in bulk. Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle on sesame seeds. Bake in preheated 350 oven for 35-50 minutes or until lightly browned. Makes 1 large loaf.
Variation: to make INCREDIBLE Jalapeno cheese bread, knead in 1/4 cup (or more if you are brave) canned, chopped jalapenos and 1 cup (or more if you want) of cheddar cheese after you’ve kneaded in all the flour. Omit sesame seeds.
FOR ECC MEMBERS, below is the link to download the ready-to-print recipe sheets.
Click on the link that follows for the Easter Bread Recipe Cards: Easter bread recipe