Portuguese Five Egg Easter Bread

from Prime Time Emeril Cookbook



-4 cups milk 

-1 teaspoon salt 

-1/2 pound lard 

-Three 1/4-ounce envelopes active dry yeast 

-5 pounds flour (St. Elizabeth or Rose brand preferred) 

-12 large eggs 

-4 cups sugar 

-Zest of 1 lemon, grated 

-1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for glaze  

-5 eggs (optional)


preparation instructions

In a saucepan combine the milk, salt, and lard and bring to a boil. Set aside.
In a small bowl combine the yeast, 1 cup of the flour, and 1/2 cup warm water and set aside.
In a large bowl, with a whisk, combine the eggs, sugar, and lemon zest and mix thoroughly. Add the milk mixture, yeast mixture, and remaining flour and thoroughly combine. Set aside to rise, kneading 6 times every half hour. The bread will take 6 hours to rise.
Prepare 5 round loaf pans with butter or lard. Divide the batter among the pans (pans should be half full). Press the dough evenly in the pan and let it rise again until it reaches the top of the pan.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Brush with beaten egg and bake for about 1 hour, until golden brown.

Yield: 5 loaves
Note: If you choose to add the five eggs for Easter, place an egg on top of each loaf during the final rising.