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This is a recipe that has been handed down for generations in Emeril's family. It is his family's favorite bread to have at Easter, but can be made at any time. This recipe makes five small loaves. It is very hands-on, requiring kneading but it works very well. The prep time is for rising. Note: If making for Easter, you can add a colored Easter egg to the top of each loaf during the final rising. You would need 5 colored Easter eggs, one for each loaf.
- Combine the milk, salt and lard in a saucepan 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 - each pan 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 degrees F.
- Brush the loaves with beaten egg.
- Bake for about 1 hour, until golden brown.