Bishop’s Bread Made With Egg Whites is a classic European recipe that uses leftover egg whites, candied fruits, nuts, pieces of chocolate, dried fruits, etc. This sweet bread is baked around the holidays.
Breads made with egg whites are delicious and light
Initially, I did some research in some of my old cooking books. My fascination with cooking books is a perilous one as I am always hunting for them (my husband rolls his eyes at me when I receive another book in the mail).
I have quite a collection of them. Anyway, this particular recipe was shown in various versions, from 1941 to 1968 to the 1980s. It was probably a trendy recipe for a long time.
Most recipes in these books do not waste any ingredients. Old cooking books tell the story of different eras, and you can very much learn from them if the food was scarce or the population at that time enjoyed prosperity or not.
However, the recipe I ended up making was the richest and more appropriate for the times we live when certain ingredients are easier to find.
This recipe is inspired by one of my favorite Romanian blogs, “Savori Urbane,” a blog that belongs to one of my good friends I admire a lot. Oana cooks and bakes like no other, and her recipes are always successful.
This past Easter, I went to visit my daughter in DC. She was going to spend the holiday alone.
While she did not specifically ask me to visit, the constant calls and text messages where she would remind me she would be alone and probably just eating “something out of the fridge” made me realize that the poor child (yes, she is thirty but still a baby in my eyes) might need her mom’s cooking and company.
We ended up cooking up a storm, and I made Lemon Bars for dessert that she ended up taking to work as well.
The only problem was that we had so many egg whites leftover from the recipe, and we did not want to waste them.
While I was trying to figure out what to do with them, I remembered this recipe and decided to make it again.
My daughter was at work, so I went through her pantry and found all the ingredients I needed.
You know this Bishop’s Bread recipe is easy to make when even my daughter ( who does not bake very often) still had all of the ingredients in her pantry.
Flour, the leftover egg whites, butter, orange, lemon rind and juice, raisins, and walnuts. That’s it, easy-peasy lemon-squeezy.
This bread made with egg whites is a very delicate, fluffy, delicious dessert that is full of surprises.
It is a versatile recipe as you can use nuts, raisins, candied orange peel or other dried fruits, even chocolate to make this bread a decadent dessert.
Each version is different as many countries make the recipe based on the ingredients available or preferred in their cuisine.
There is also no baking powder in this recipe. The air incorporated in the egg whites helps the bread rise.
Bishop’s Bread recipe is probably 2-300 years old, and it seems to come from Germany. The name in German is Bischof’s Brot.
This recipe, in particular, comes from Transylvania, Romania, and it is very popular around Christmas and Easter.
In Romanian cuisine, Christmas and Easter are the biggest opportunities to cook and bake a lot. There are cakes and cookies and Romanian traditional sweet bread Cozonac and mayonnaise made from scratch, and other products that use lots of egg yolks.
Egg whites are not discarded but used in other baked goods like meringue desserts or this fabulous bread.
What kind of nuts and candied fruit can you add to the Bishop’s Bread?
- Nuts: I used walnuts this time, but a combination of walnuts, hazelnuts, or almonds works as well. Roast the nuts in a skillet for 2-3 minutes until they develop the flavor.
Please do not add anything to the pan, but keep an eye on them all the time so they don’t burn. This technique intensifies the flavor of the nuts.
After they cool down a little bit, chop them with a knife, but in big chunks for a good texture.
- Dried fruits: I used raisins, but if you do not like them, use cranberries or sour cherries or a mixture of them. Dried apricots chopped really small are good as well.
In this particular recipe, rehydrate the dried fruits with vanilla extract and lemon juice and set them aside until it’s time to use them.
Plump raisins are always preferable because they give your baked goods a more delicate texture.
Even when you put raisins in a very wet mixture like the one in the Sweet Cheese Slab Pie, you still want your raisins to be plump and moist.
What other ingredients do you need for this bread?
- Egg Whites
This is a straightforward recipe to make if you have a stand-up mixer. However, you can do it also using a hand mixer or by hand. You will definitely get some upper body workout with the egg whites, but hey, it is all worth it, right?
Important: the bowl that you will use to beat the egg whites needs to be very clean(if you are not sure, rewash it with hot water and soap, rinse well, and dry). Greasy spots will prevent the egg whites from rising and will ruin the recipe.
The secret to this moist bread is the melted butter. Can you replace the butter with oil? Probably, but I would not do it.
Obviously, you can do things with this recipe that I would not approve of, but you need to remember that you have to follow the instructions to get the taste that this bread should have.
Also, this cake is not on a cheap site, as it has a lot of ingredients that might seem expensive.
However, if you are afraid of butter (which you shouldn’t), you need to remember that you don’t bake this cake every weekend (unless you want to), so feel free to splurge once in a while and buy quality ingredients, like good butter, dried or candied fruits, good nuts.
From the amount of ingredients we use for this recipe, we will obtain two loaves of bread.
- Candied orange peel gives a fantastic flavor to the bread, so don’t forget to add it if you have some. In conclusion, this is a recipe that uses ingredients available in the pantry. You can play with the flavors.
- This bread also has vanilla and lemon/orange zest that are very important for the flavor profile.
No baking powder? Why?
No baking powder. The egg whites are enough for this bread to rise IF you beat them correctly and mix them in the right way properly.
How to make this Bishop’s Bread Made With Egg Whites:
First and the most important step – Prepare the ingredients and the pans:
Preheat oven to 350F.
Note: I bought my daughter an oven thermometer because everyone should have one in their kitchen. Sometimes the oven temperature sensor is not working right, and you never know the actual temperature inside.
The easiest way to solve this problem is to buy an oven thermometer and check the temperature even after your oven tells you it is done preheating.
Also, butter and flour the insides of two loaf pans. It is important to get them ready before we start anything else. Set them aside.
Melt the butter and mix it with the lemon zest. Set it aside.
Measure the sugar.
The recipe asks for sifted flour, which is a VERY IMPORTANT step. The difference in volume between sifted and unsifted flour is very different.
The way I sift my flour is through a fine-mesh strainer. It gets rid of impurities and makes the flour fluffier and perfect for this delicate bread.
After you sift the flour, measure it and set it aside.
Measure the nuts, then roast them for 2-3 minutes to develop their aroma. Chop them but not very small.
Place the dried and candied fruits in a little bowl and squeeze the juice from half lemon over them.
In a clean mixer bowl, place the egg whites and the salt. Salt is essential in many baked goods as it enhances the taste of the final product. Please do not skip it.
Beat the egg whites to a soft peak. Add the sugar all at once, and continue to beat them to a stiff peak, the same way you would beat the egg whites for meringue. They have to look stiff and glossy.
Now, we are done with the mixer. Everything forward needs to be worked with a spatula.
Over the egg whites, start adding the rest of the ingredients. Flour, dried fruits, nuts, half of the melted butter, everything goes inside the bowl.
Very important! Do not add the dry ingredients one by one. Mixing the egg whites too much makes them lose all the air built by beating them stiff, ruining the recipe. Your bread will be dense, small, and gummy.
With large moves and using a spatula, incorporate the ingredients slowly. The easiest way is to move the spatula from underneath to the surface. Make sure you touch the bottom and the bowl’s walls.
Add the rest of the butter and incorporate it slowly, making sure you have a pretty homogeneous mixture.
Immediately pour the batter into the two prepared loaf pans and level the batter gently.
How to bake this Bishop’s bread with egg whites? What temperature and for how long?
I hope you now understand why I insisted on preparing everything in advance. Your oven should now be ready to use.
Place the pans in the oven and DO NOT OPEN the oven’s door for the first 25 minutes. This bread will bake for about 35-40 minutes.
If you have an oven that burns in certain areas and there is a need to move the pans around to make sure they bake everywhere, move them, but only after the first 25 minutes.
Check the loaves of bread with a toothpick in the middle, and make sure the toothpick comes out clean and dry. If it comes out sticky and wet, return the loaves of bread to the oven and bake them 1-2 minutes more.
When ready, remove the pans from the oven and not mess with them for about 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, you can remove them from the pans on a metal rack and allow them to cool slowly.
How to serve this Bishop’s Bread Made with Egg Whites- European Recipe
This delicate bread made with egg whites can be cut only after it is completely cool. The easiest way to cut it is using a serrated knife.
It has a perfect texture, and it should not be sticky or wet in the middle. The butter makes it delicious and delicate.
The fruits and nuts are distributed nicely inside the bread and do not sink to the bottom.
Each slice of this bread is basically melting in your mouth, and there is texture from the nuts and dried fruits and also flavor from everything we added to it.
This Bishop’s Bread made with egg whites recipe is perfect for using the leftover egg whites.
It is easy to make and you will be so pleased with the results.
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It also packs well for lunches, and the walnuts make it a bit more nutritious. They are dense in nutrients like heart-healthy fats and proteins.
Let me know if you made this bread and if your friends and family liked it!
Looking for another delicious coffee bread recipe? Try this delicious cinnamon swirl coffee cake.
More recipes to love:
- 10 egg whites(from 10 large eggs)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup/200 g granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- zest from 1 medium lemon
- 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) + 1 1/2 tablespoons/250 g melted butter
- 1 2/3 cups /7.05oz/200 g all purpose flour
- 2/3 cups/3.5 oz/100g nuts(walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans etc- choose what you like)
- 1/2 cup raisins or other chopped dried fruits combined with candied fruits like orange peel
- Preheat oven to 350F/180C.
- Butter and flour the insides of two loaf pans.
- Melt the butter and mix it with the lemon zest. Set it aside.
- Measure the nuts, then roast them in a pan on the stove for 2-3 minute to develop their aroma. Chop them but not very small.
- Measure the ingredients and set them aside. Sift the flour.
- Place the dried and candied fruits in a little bowl and squeeze the juice from half lemon over them.
- In a clean mixer bowl place the egg whites and the salt. Beat the egg whites to a soft peak.
- Add the sugar, all at once and continue to beat them to a stiff peak, exactly the same way you would beat the egg whites for a meringue. They have to look stiff and glossy.
- Add the rest of the ingrediends all at once.
- Very important! Do not add the dry ingredients one by one. Mixing the egg whites too much makes them lose all the air built by beating them stiff and the recipe will be ruined. Your breads will be dense, small and gummy.
- With large moves and using a spatula, incorporate the ingredients slowly. The easiest way is to move the spatula from underneath to the surface, making sure you touch the bottom and the walls of the bowl.
- Add the rest of the butter and incorporate it slowly making sure you have a pretty homogenous mixture.
- Immediately pour the batter into the prepared loaf pans and level the batter gently.
- Place the pans in the oven and DO NOT OPEN the oven’s door for the first 25 minutes. These breads will bake for about 35-40 minutes.
- If you have an oven that burns in certain areas and you need to move the pans around to make sure they bake everywhere, move them, but only after the first 25 minutes.
- Check the breads with a toothpick in the middle and make sure the toothpick comes out clean and dry. If it comes out sticky and with batter on it, return the breads to the oven and bake them 1-2 minutes more.
- When ready, remove the pans from the oven and let them cool for about 5 minutes. After 5 minutes you can remove them from the pans, on a metal rack and allow them to cool completely.
- The easiest way to cut it is using a serrated knife.
- The bread can be frozen up to 3 months for later consumption.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 224Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 34mgSodium: 180mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 1gSugar: 12gProtein: 4g