Italian Easter Bread

Posted on April 5, 2012
Happy Easter, Everyone! I hope you all have a wonderful weekend celebrating Easter with your friends and family, eating some good food, remembering old family traditions and maybe starting some new ones! I wanted to share this Italian Easter Bread that I made today with you! It’s one of my husband’s family traditions, and so I wanted to make it this Easter! One of the fun things about being from different backgrounds and different countries are all the different baked treats during holidays! This is the first time that I actually made this bread successfully (there have been several disasters previously!) and I was very excited! It smells wonderful and is deliciously soft and sweet thanks to the sugary vanilla glaze on top. Here is the recipe that I used.
(Recipe adapted from Taste of Home)
*Makes one bread*
3 – 4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 package active dry yeast (0.25 oz)
2/3 warm milk (I used fat free milk)
2 tbs unsalted butter, softened
2 eggs (plus another 6 dyed eggs for decoration)
1/2 cup raisins (or candied fruit)
1/2 cup chopped blanched almonds
Egg Wash
1 egg
2 tsp water (or milk)
Sugar Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
1/8 cup milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Egg Dye
20 drops food coloring
1 tbs vinegar
1/2 cup water
1. In your electric mixer bowl, combine a cup of flower, sugar, salt and yeast. Mix for a couple of seconds just to get everything combined. Then add warm milk and the butter and beat for 2 minutes on medium speed. With the mixer running, add 2 eggs and a half a cup of flour, continue mixing for another couple of minutes until the flour is incorporated. Add the fruit/raisins and nuts at this point and stir well. Add in the rest of the flour (add in enough to make a soft dough, it may be more or less than 4 cups of flour altogether). Using the dough hook attachment on your mixer, knead the dough for 6 – 8 minutes (you could knead the dough by hand, of course, but this is so much faster and easier!) Once this step is done, form the dough into a ball, rub with a little bit of oil and place in a bowl, cover with a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about one hour.
2. In the meantime, you can dye your eggs and let them dry. Take your dough out, and punch it down. Then, divide it into 3 pieces, and roll each piece into about an 18 inch rope. Begin braiding your bread loosely, and tuck the two ends under the braid. Rub a little bit of oil on the part of the egg that’s going to touch the bread (to prevent the color from running). Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise for another 30 minutes. Preheat your oven to 350 deg F.
3. Make your egg wash by whisking together one egg and 2 tsp of water (or milk), and brush on top of the braid, making sure that the egg wash doesn’t run and touch the eggs (this is very important, as this will make the color run!!!!!) Bake for 30 – 35 minutes, until the top is golden brown. Let cool on a wire rack before glazing with sugar glaze.
4. Once the bread has cooled, make your sugar glaze. In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, milk and vanilla extract, brush it on top of the braid and cover with colorful sprinkles. The glaze dries pretty quickly, so glaze a part and sprinkle immediately, then glaze another part and sprinkle again, and so on.
This really could have made two smaller braids, it rose a LOT and made one huge braid (a third of which is already gone – I told you it was really good!)! Or you could make smaller, individual size “nests” by making round little braids and putting one egg in the middle. The sugar glaze and the sprinkles are completely optional – the glaze just adds some extra sweetness and the sprinkles make it even prettier!
Happy Easter, Everyone!

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  • Deana April 6, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    How pretty…..

  • Patricia P April 6, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    That’s almost too pretty to eat! How nice to keep a family tradition going.

  • Sue April 6, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    Your bread is so gorgeous! I’m sure it’s delicious too:) How great that you’re keeping the tradition alive!
    BTW, your egg cozies are just about the cutest things I’ve ever seen!

  • Mary April 7, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    That is sooo pretty! I’ll bet it’s yummy for the tummy, too 🙂

  • Angie's Recipes April 8, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    This is so very pretty and festive!

  • Is April 8, 2012 at 7:06 pm

    Hi Maria! That bread looks yummy! In Spain we eat something really similar in Easter (maybe is the same recipe) but we call it “Mona de Pascua” which can be translated as Easter’s female monkey, don’t ask me why, I have no idea!! But congratulations! yours looks like an authentic mona!
    Greetings from Spain

  • Pams Party April 10, 2012 at 11:48 am

    This bread is beautiful with the colored eggs. You did a great job. I would love it if you could share it on my new linky party, Dare to Share.


  • Six Sisters April 10, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    This is so cute and looks delicious! We hope you’ll be back to our “Strut Your Stuff Saturday”. We loved having you! -The Sisters

  • Shannon @ Cozy Home Scenes April 11, 2012 at 12:35 am

    I’ve never seen this kind of bread, but I’m sure I would love it. It looks and sounds like it would be wonderful. With the glaze and pretty eggs, it’ easy to see why this recipe is a crowd pleaser. Maria, I appreciate you coming to my party each week!

  • Patti April 11, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    Your bread turned out great!!! Definitely going to have to give it a try!!!


  • Anonymous April 4, 2015 at 5:42 pm

    So my question is, are the eggs hard boiled and then peeled and then dyed? Or is the shell of egg left on?

    • ahomemadeliving April 4, 2015 at 7:00 pm

      I left the shells on. Happy Easter!

  • Andrea March 18, 2016 at 9:00 am

    This Easter bread has become and annual tradition as of two years ago when we found this recipe. It’s fun to make, pretty to look at and tastes amazing!

    • ahomemadeliving April 17, 2016 at 10:39 am

      Hi Andrea! Thanks for stopping by! It really is a fun recipe to make, isn’t it! 🙂

  • Bird Stratton March 26, 2016 at 5:54 pm

    I have made this bread in the past. I am having a big Easter party tomorrow and I made this. It is just as beautiful as the pictures. It makes a wonderful center piece for the table. Everyone will love it. Easter 2016. Made by a Jewish girl surrounded by Scots. I love it.

    • ahomemadeliving April 17, 2016 at 10:37 am

      Ha! That’s great! 🙂 Hope you had a wonderful Easter! It really does make for a beautiful centerpiece, doesn’t it!

      • Carmen March 19, 2022 at 11:55 pm

        But are they hard boiled BEFORE placing in and baking the bread?

  • Sue April 4, 2018 at 7:20 am

    Beautiful and delicious! My family was so impressed with the bread. The sweet bread was a hit. I followed all ingredients except I used rice milk due to a milk allergy. It was perfect and my granddaughter was thrilled to have this treat. It is now a keeper for many meals with or without the eggs as decorations.

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  • Terri April 8, 2022 at 7:05 am

    Do you use slivered or sliced blanched almonds?

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