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Italian Easter Bread

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This simple Italian Easter Bread recipe is perfect for creating a delicious Easter tradition and treat. Add in the homemade lemon glaze, and this is one delicious Easter dessert that everyone will look forward to. 

I look forward to making this every year because it’s truly one tasty tradition that I love sharing with my family. 

Italian Easter Bread

 

WHY THIS RECIPE

Since everyone is going to be getting a ton of chocolate and sweets in their Easter baskets, this delicious easy Italian Easter bread recipe is a nice change and flavor. 

The bread dough will end up raising and being almost twice its size which is a big step in creating the fluffy and wonderful texture of this bread recipe.

Italian Easter Bread Recipe

INGREDIENTS FOR ITALIAN EASTER BREAD

All-purpose flour – The main component for creating the bread.

Active dry yeast – For helping the dough rise. 

Sugar and Spice – For flavor. 

Milk – Needed for the liquid to help bind the dough and also for the glaze. 

Unsalted butter – If all you have is salted butter, make certain to omit the salt in the recipe. 

Eggs – Another binder for the dough. 

Golden raisins – Natural sweetness for the bread. 

Uncooked but dyed eggs – Topping for the Easter bread recipe. 

Powdered Sugar – Addition to make the homemade glaze sweet. 

Lemon Juice – Gives the glaze a lemon flavor. 

Italian Easter Bread Ingredients

 

HOW TO MAKE THIS EASY ITALIAN EASTER BREAD RECIPE 

  1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together 1 cup of flour, yeast, sugar, and salt. 

  2. Place 2 tablespoons of butter into a microwave-safe container with the milk. Microwave on high for 30 seconds. Check the temperature with an instant-read thermometer. If the milk has not reached 110 degrees, return to the microwave for an additional 10 seconds.

  3. Pour the milk into the mixing bowl and beat until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, and continue beating until the mixture is smooth.

  4. Begin adding flour in small scoops until a soft dough is formed.How to make Italian Easter Bread

  1. Switch the mixing hook for a dough hook and knead the dough on medium speed for 5 to 7 minutes.

  2. Transfer dough to an oiled bowl and turn once. Cover and allow to rise in a warm place free of drafts, for approximately 1 hour, until it has doubled in size.

  3. Punch down the dough to deflate the air. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pat flat. Sprinkle with raisins and knead to combine.

  4. Divide the dough into three equal pieces.How to make Easy Italian Easter Bread

  1. Roll each piece of dough into a long rope by running your hands over the dough pushing the dough from the center to the ends as you move your hands forward and backward over the dough. If the dough continues to be too elastic to retain its length, allow the dough to relax while you work on a different piece. Dough strands should be approximately 20 inches long.

  2. Line the strands parallel to one another. Squeeze one side of the ends together.

  3. To braid, start with the third strand from the left. Gently pass the strand over the 2nd strand and under the 1st strand, like a basic basketweave. Then, move to the strand all the way to the right and begin weaving over and under each strand until it reaches the left. Repeat with additional strands (about twice) until the bread is braided. Shape into a wreath and squeeze the ends together, tucking the squeezed ends under the bread.

Making Italian Easter Bread

Adding the Eggs to Italian Easter  Bread

  1. Tuck the uncooked, dyed eggs between the braids.

  2. Carefully transfer the bread to a parchment-lined baking sheet or large baking stone. Loosely cover the bread with a towel. Place in a warm spot, free of drafts, and allow to rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.

  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

  4. Melt the remaining butter. Brush the melted butter over the bread, evenly coating the bread.

  5. Place the bread in the oven and cook for 30 to 35 minutes. Allow the bread to cool completely before slicing and serving.

Italian Easter Bread Eggs

 

THEN YOU MAKE THE ITALIAN BREAD GLAZE

  1. If using the optional glaze, allow the bread to cool first. Mix all ingredients together and spoon over the bread. Add sprinkles if desired.

Italian Easter Bread Recipe Easy

TIMESAVING TIPS

  • If you want to help your bread rise faster, you can preheat your oven and then turn it off. After a few moments have passed, it’s a nice warm space for you to pop in the bread dough to make certain that it really rises fast! 
  • Make the bread dough the day before and then bake it when you have time. There’s nothing wrong with meal prepping a bit to save time later down the road.

FAQ

Can you freeze Easter bread?

You can. I wouldn’t freeze the eggs on top of the bread so remove that portion before putting it into the freezer. Make certain that you put the bread in a freezer-safe container or bag as well. 

Is Easter bread sweet?

The bread itself isn’t overly sweet but if you happen to get a bite of raisin, you’ll get a nice natural sweetness. If you make and add the glaze, it will then add a lot of sweetness to this recipe. 

How to store Easter bread?

The biggest thing that you need to do is keep the air away from the bread. This will dry it out fast and make it hard. Store the Easter bread recipe in an airtight container to keep it as fresh as possible for as long as possible. 

 

ITALIAN EASTER BREAD

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Italian Easter Bread

Don't miss out on this Italian Easter Bread recipe!

Ingredients

  • 3-3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup sugar  
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp golden raisins
  • 4 uncooked but dyed eggs

Optional Glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp milk

Instructions

  • In a mixing bowl, whisk together 1 cup of flour, yeast, sugar, and salt. 
  • Place 2 tablespoons of butter into a microwave-safe container with the milk. Microwave on high for 30 seconds. Check the temperature with an instant-read thermometer. If the milk has not reached 110 degrees, return to the microwave for an additional 10 seconds.
  • Pour the milk into the mixing bowl and beat until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, and continue beating until the mixture is smooth.
  • Begin adding flour in small scoops until a soft dough is formed.
  • Switch the mixing hook for a dough hook and knead the dough on medium speed for 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Transfer dough to an oiled bowl and turn once. Cover and allow to rise in a warm place free of drafts, for approximately 1 hour, until it has doubled in size.
  • Punch down the dough to deflate the air. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pat flat. Sprinkle with raisins and knead to combine.
  • Divide the dough into three equal pieces.
  • Roll each piece of dough into a long rope by running your hands over the dough pushing the dough from the center to the ends as you move your hands forward and backward over the dough. If the dough continues to be too elastic to retain its length, allow the dough to relax while you work on a different piece. Dough strands should be approximately 20 inches long.
  • Line the strands parallel to one another. Squeeze one side of the ends together.
  • To braid, start with the third strand from the left. Gently pass the strand over the 2nd strand and under the 1st strand, like a basic basketweave. Then, move to the strand all the way to the right and begin weaving over and under each strand until it reaches the left. Repeat with additional strands (about twice) until the bread is braided. Shape into a wreath and squeeze the ends together, tucking the squeezed ends under the bread.
  • Tuck the uncooked, dyed eggs between the braids.
  • Carefully transfer the bread to a parchment-lined baking sheet or large baking stone. Loosely cover the bread with a towel. Place in a warm spot, free of drafts, and allow to rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Melt the remaining butter. Brush the melted butter over the bread, evenly coating the bread.
  • Place the bread in the oven and cook for 30 to 35 minutes. Allow the bread to cool completely before slicing and serving.
  • If using the optional glaze, allow the bread to cool first. Mix all ingredients together and spoon over the bread. Add sprinkles if desired.

Don’t forget to bookmark this recipe.

Italian Easter Bread

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Italian Easter Bread dessert

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