It’s less than four weeks until the long Easter weekend. The second in a row I am spending at home.

In normal times (aka when there is no global pandemic), I would take advantage of the long weekend to spend somewhere nice and warm. Possibly a couple of days in southern Europe or maybe a week in the Middle East.

Instead, I am busy decorating my home with colourful Easter gadgets and planning my Easter menu at home.

Recipe | Traditional German Easter yeast braid

On the upside, I finally have time to prepare some of the dishes I’ve planned to make for a long time already, but typically would not find enough time to do so.

A traditional food you will find everywhere in Germany during the Easter period are sweet yeast braids, which in German are also known as Osterzopf, Osterkranz or Osterbrot.

Recipe | Traditional German Easter yeast braid

This slightly sweet, soft and tender yeast bread is something not to be missed on the traditional German Easter brunch. Usually adorned with a coloured egg or eggs, depending on the shape of the braid, it is also a colourful highlight on any Easter brunch buffet.

Recipe | Traditional German Easter yeast braid

The recipe below is for eight small braids, but you can also form this into one large braid.


Yields 8 small braids

500 g all-purpose flour
40 g fresh yeast
100 g powdered sugar
3 egg yolks
pinch of salt
60 g butter, melted
250 ml milk
½ lemon zest, grated
2 Pk vanilla sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
granulated sugar
8 hard-boiled eggs, coloured

Recipe | Traditional German Easter yeast braid


In a small saucepan heat the milk over medium heat.

In a large bowl, add flour, powdered sugar, egg yolks, a pinch of salt, butter, lemon zest, and vanilla sugar.  Add the fresh yeast than pour over the heated milk. Using a standing mixer or hand mixer, knead together until obtaining an elastic dough.

Put the yeast in a large bowl, cover with a kitchen towel and allow to rise in a warm place for 40 minutes until doubled in volume.

Preheat the oven to 170°C.

Transfer dough to a lightly floured working surface. Knead again and let rise again for another 10 minutes.

Form a roll and separate into 24 pieces. Roll each of the pieces into approximately 15 cm long ropes.

Taking three pieces, form a braid. Pinch the ends together, than form a cycle. Make sure the ends are securely joined together. Transfer onto a baking pan lined with baking paper. Brush with the lightly beaten egg and sprinkle with granulated sugar.

Bake for 15 minutes until golden-brown.

Take out and let cool a couple of minutes. Then put a coloured egg in the middle of each braid. The braid should be still warm to make sure they fit properly.

Recipe | Traditional German Easter yeast braid

Keep in mind, the colouration of the egg might rub off putting it into the yeast. Therefore, use eggs with organic colouring – or colour the eggs with natural ingredients.

If you want to learn how to make coloured Easter eggs with natural ingredients, you can find instruction here: Your guide to natural coloured Easter eggs.

Recipe | Traditional German Easter yeast braid

Planning to make Easter braid? Share a picture of your final creation.