This year for Easter I decided to make Italian Easter Bread, a traditional recipe that Jason’s Grandma Rose used to make each year. I honestly had never heard of this Italian delicacy before, but I was curious!
After some researching and talking with Jason’s parents for a background info, I came across The Italian Dish blog that had a beautiful recipe. The bread looked so delicious. I knew I had to try it out!
This Italian Easter bread recipe has a tender and slightly sweet dough with a hard-boiled egg in the center and colorful, festive sprinkles. The perfect recipe to help celebrate Easter this year!
I enjoy making bread at home, the smell of sweet fresh baked loaves always makes me so happy! This Italian Easter bread is a fun and festive recipe similar to a challah egg bread. You can work through each step, mixing, proofing, shaping and have time in between to decorate Easter eggs. A perfect recipe to make together with your family!
This recipe yields three large wreaths, or you can make six mini wreaths with the dough. A simple egg wash is brushed on each wreath just before baking to achieve the perfect golden brown color and shine on the Italian Easter bread.
Oh yeah, and don’t forget the sprinkles! The sprinkles not only make the it look beautiful, but it also adds just a touch of extra sweetness to each bite.
It’s been decades since I dyed Easter eggs! To save you some extra time, you can use raw painted eggs to place in the center of each bread wreath. I used a super affordable 24 Karat Easter Egg Coloring Kit, only $2 at Albertsons, score!
This kit was awesome because they give you everything you need to paint eggs with a beautiful shimmering coat of color. Since I was using multicolored sprinkles, I decided to go with blue easter eggs for this Italian Easter bread recipe.
I recommend allowing the eggs to come to room temperature, wiping off any condensation before painting. When the dough proofs for the first time, this is an excellent opportunity to paint the eggs, so it has plenty of time to dry.
You want to give the eggs, at least, an hour to dry. Otherwise, the dye will bleed into the bread when baking. The raw eggs will be medium-hard once baked. Make sure to remove the egg if you plan on saving the bread to be eaten the next day (food safety first!).
After my first attempt at my husband’s childhood favorite holiday recipe, I couldn’t wait to have him taste test the Italian Easter bread. We couldn’t resist eating it when just warm out of the oven. We each ate half of a loaf!
Needless to say, Jason has requested that I make this every year for Easter. This will be a new tradition for our family. I can’t wait to teach Baby Gavin how to make this recipe someday!
TIP #1 – The Italian Easter Bread is made from a yeast raised dough, the yeast acting as the leavening agent. I used Fleischmann’s active dry yeast, which is best used added directly to the dry ingredients. Yeast are living organisms, so just like us, they need food to grow. During fermentation, the yeast eats the sugars in the dough, and the result (by product) is the creation of alcohol and carbon dioxide. The alcohol evaporates during baking and the carbon dioxide assists in leavening giving you beautiful, tender and airy bread.
TIP #2 – The absolute most important step in making yeast raised dough is not to kill the yeast. It is one of the first steps in the process and the most integral. Yeast die at temperatures above 138°F! In this recipe, I indicate to combine warm milk at 120-130°F with sugar, yeast, eggs, and flour. After the dough is mixed and allowed to “proof” or rise it is covered and ferments in a warm place. The yeast in the dough is working hard to make your bread elevate and expand, creating lots of flavor along the way in the delicious Italian Easter bread.