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Easter Bread

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Easter Bread is a symbolic braided bread typically served around Easter in the shape of a crown with raw colored eggs on top that are baked into the bread that is then topped with a warm glaze and sprinkles. This is a light airy bread the whole family will love. Easter bread is an Italian and Greek tradition but in our household, it is a delicious Easter treat that has become a fun family tradition of our own.

Italian Easter Bread

In our house, we are all about traditions and symbolism that is why this Italian Easter Bread is a staple in our home each Easter season. While this bread does take a bit of time to make, due to the rising, it is well worth the taste once it is done. This Brioche bread is a soft and irresistible welcome addition to your Easter this year. Pair it with this Instant Pot Ham and  Easter Sweet Potato Casserole and you will have the perfect Easter feast. 

easter bread

What does Easter bread symbolize?

There is so much symbolism in Italian Easter bread. First of all, it is in the shape of a circle to symbolize the crown of thorns worn by Jesus Christ when he was crucified. The other major symbolism is the 3 pieces of dough that are braided together to symbolize the three elements of the Holy Trinity. The egg represents Jesus rising from the tomb and living again. 

easter bread

How to make Traditional Easter Bread

  • 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. 
add raisons in
  • 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. 
easter bread

Tips Tricks and FAQs

  • Since this is a yeast bread it does take patience. Be sure to let the yeast properly rise to ensure the bread has its full flavor and is not dense. 
  • If it is a cooler day it might take longer for your bread to rise. 
  • I highly recommend using this Instant Pot Easter Egg Natural Dye Recipe. Follow the recipe like stated, just don’t hard boil the eggs first. 
  • If you are worried about placing raw eggs in the bread, do not worry they will become hard-boiled eggs as the bread cooks.
easter bread

Storage

You will want to store your bread in an airtight container for up to 5 days at room temperature. If you want it to last longer you can freeze it in a freezer-safe bag for up to two months, but you will want to remove the eggs first. 

easter bread
easter bread

Easter Bread

Easter Bread is a symbolic braided bread typically served around Easter in the shape of a crown with raw colored eggs on top that are baked into the bread that is then topped with a warm glaze and sprinkles. This is a light airy bread the whole family will love. 

Ingredients

  • 3 to 3 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 ¼ teaspoon active dry yeast
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ⅔ cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon golden raisins
  • 4 uncooked but dyed eggs
  • For the optional glaze:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons milk

Instructions

    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. 
    5. Switch the mixing hook for a dough hook and knead the dough on medium speed for 5 to 7 minutes. 
    6. 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. 
    7. 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. 
    8. Divide the dough into three equal pieces. 
    9. 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. 
    10. Line the strands parallel to one another. Squeeze one side of the ends together. 
    11. 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. 
    12. Tuck the uncooked, dyed eggs between the braids. 
    13. 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. 
    14. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
    15. Melt the remaining butter. Brush the melted butter over the bread, evenly coating the bread. 
    16. Place the bread in the oven and cook for 30 to 35 minutes. Allow the bread to cool completely before slicing and serving. 
    17. If using the optional glaze, allow the bread to cool first. Mix all ingredients together and spoon over the bread. Add sprinkles if desired.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

10

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 570Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 66mgSodium: 246mgCarbohydrates: 110gFiber: 4gSugar: 16gProtein: 16g

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