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Wednesday
Mar192008

Italian Easter Bread


Buona Pasqua!  I've made this Easter bread for years for my kids. It's a sweet bread, made with milk and sugar and has an Easter Egg in the middle! There's a lot of Italian recipes for Easter breads, some are savory and some are sweet. This one is fun.

Italian Easter Bread

for a printer friendly recipe, click here
makes 6 individual loaves
Ingredients:
  • 1 package Rapid Rise yeast
  • 1.25 cups scalded milk, cooled to room temperature
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3.5 cups flour (approximate)
  • 1 egg, beaten with 1 teaspoon of water
  • 6 dyed Easter eggs
  • sprinkles
 

tip: the Easter eggs do not need to be hard boiled. They cook when the bread bakes. I usually just dye the eggs right out of the fridge, without hardboiling them. Saves time. Just be careful they don't crack!

Instructions:

In a large mixer bowl, combine yeast, warm (not hot) milk, salt, butter, eggs and sugar. Add about half the flour and beat until smooth with dough hook.   Slowly add the remaining flour to form a stiff dough. Don't worry about how much flour it ends up being, just keep adding until the dough is not sticky anymore.  Knead until smooth with either dough hook attachment or turn out on floured board and knead. Place in a greased bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about an hour.

Punch dough down, divide into 12 pieces. Roll each piece to form a 1 inch thick rope about 14 inches long and, taking two pieces, twist to form a "braid", pinching the ends,  and loop into a circle.

Place on a greased baking sheet or line your baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat. Cover and let rise until double, about an hour again. Brush each bread with beaten egg wash. Put on the sprinkles. In the middle of each bread ring, gently place an Easter egg, making an indentation with the egg.

Bake at 350 degrees until golden - about 20 - 25 minutes. Cool on rack.

 

** Note:  For an updated version of this bread, see my most recent Easter Bread post.  It's made with golden eggs and pearl sugar:


Another cute idea for Easter is making these Edible Egg Nests for your table:

 

 You might also like to try Italian Easter Torta (Torta Pasqualina): 


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Reader Comments (153)

So, my mom has been looking for a new recipe. The last few years our bread just hadn't been coming right. I chose yours due to the comments....HOLY COW!!!! My mom was ecstatic! They came out so amazing and delicious...only difference is we added almond extract and we add an almond glaze once they are cooled. Thank you so much for sharing your recipe! This one is going in our recipe books. Happy Easter.

March 27, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

So, my mom has been looking for a new recipe. The last few years our bread just hadn't been coming right. I chose yours due to the comments....HOLY COW!!!! My mom was ecstatic! They came out so amazing and delicious...only difference is we added almond extract and we add an almond glaze once they are cooled. Thank you so much for sharing your recipe! This one is going in our recipe books. Happy Easter.

March 27, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

Okay, I checked with a baker. Let your dough rise once, then punch it down and shape your loaves. Drape it VERY LOOSELY with plastic wrap (to keep it from drying out) and refrigerate it overnight. Leave room for it to rise in the fridge. Bring the dough to room temp before you bake it. Buona fortuna!

March 29, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSister Julianna

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