In contrast to the elaborate painted eggs and gingerbread you usually see around Prague at Easter, the relatively simple Easter sweet bread, Mazanec, is one of my favorite things. Starting from the same dough used for Vánočka, Czech Christmas bread, mazanec is a light, eggy sweet bread studded with raisins, almonds, and lemon zest. It’s always reminded me of panettone, a staple in my family at Christmastime, which is maybe why I like it so much.
It’s easy to make, and it’s great toasted—although, given how J. yelped, “What is this country’s obsession with toasting things?!” when I suggested toasting it for breakfast, this might be solely an American preference. (I’m not going to tell him that I think you could make really great biscotti-ish slices from it.)
The recipe (inside) makes one large loaf, but you could also do small buns, instead—this recipe would yield at least six or seven popover-sized buns, I think. Enjoy!