The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Italian Easter Bread

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ritav's picture
ritav

Italian Easter Bread

You will find this traditional Italian Easter Bread to be easy and fun to make.  I have been making this for quite a few years.  Following is the recipe:


Italian Easter Bread 


2 packets of active dry yeast


½ cup warm water (95° to 110°)


½ cup unbleached all purpose flour (King Arthur is recommended)


1 t. sugar


1-cup hot milk


¼ cup unsalted butter


1 t. salt


½ cup granulated sugar


2 t. vanilla


2 eggs, lightly beaten


4 to 5 cups unbleached all purpose flour (King Arthur)


1-cup light or dark raisins (soak in water to plumb)



Egg wash
 
1 egg yolk

1 T. water

 

3 uncooked eggs (colored)

Colored sprinkles

 

Instructions:

  • In medium bowl or 4 cup measuring cup combine warm water, yeast, sugar and ½ cup flour. Cover with plastic and a towel. Allow to rest for 10 minutes.
  • Heat 1 cup milk until it begins to scald
  • Add the milk to a mixer bowl and immediately stir in the butter, sugar, vanilla, eggs and salt. Stir until butter is melted.
  • After the yeast is bubbly, add to the milk mixture and mix together.
  • Using dough hook, add one cup of flour at a time until dough is soft and breaks away from the bowl.
  • Oil a large bowl and set aside.
  • Remove dough from mixer bowl and knead in the raisins using enough flour to keep dough from    sticking. Dough should not be sticky.
  • Add the dough to the prepared bowl and coat all sides of dough with the oil.
  • Cover with plastic and a towel. Set in warm place until dough is double in size (45 to 55 minutes).
  • While dough is rising, place raisins in a bowl and fill with warm water -just to cover. (If too much water is added, you will rinse away the natural sweetness of the raisins.)
  • After dough has doubled, place dough on a work surface and form into a ball.
  • Divide into three equal pieces and allow to rest 15 minutes.
  • Rinse the raisins and toss with a little flour.
  • Evenly divide raisins among each piece of dough and work into the dough.
  • Shape each piece of dough into a log shape approximately 12-14" long.
  • Place each log side by side on baking sheet covered with parchment or a Silpat.
  • Take each log and cross over like you are braiding. Seal each end. You can leave the bread long or form a circle.
  • Place colored uncooked eggs in the folds. Cover bread and rise until double in size.
  • Preheat over to 375°F. Brush the top of the bread with egg wash and top with colored sprinkles.
  • Dust with colored sprinkles.
  • Bake until browned (25 to 35 minutes).
  • Freezes well, also.

 

 

BettyR's picture
BettyR

No picture? :)  Sounds good...thanks for sharing!!

ritav's picture
ritav

Thank you for the message.  I am having problems uploading my photo.  I am new to the blog.  Do you have any suggestions?  Thanks.

ritav's picture
ritav

I ad success in uploading the photo for the Italian Easter Bread.  Feel free to ask questions as you read through the recipe.

ritav's picture
ritav

I didn't know if you saw the picture that was uploaded for the Italian Easter Bread.  If not, check it out.

korish's picture
korish

I love easter breads

mete's picture
mete

They look really great for presentation. I usually make a rabbit with egg or a colomba [dove] with egg. Give it a try !

Roo's picture
Roo

What do you do with eggs when you serve the bread?  I have seen something like this in BBA and do not know if you remove the eggs and et seperately of slice them along with the bread.


Nice looking bread by the way.

ritav's picture
ritav

You would remove the eggs and eat them separately.  Thanks for asking.

Roo's picture
Roo

Thank you for the quick response.  Another silly question if I may . . .  are the eggs still in the shell when baked.  I can not imagine dying an egg out of the shell, but then again . . . . . 

ritav's picture
ritav

Yes, the eggs are dyed (uncooked) before they are put in the bread.  They actually cook during the cooking process.  No question is silly when it comes to baking and cooking.

jpchisari's picture
jpchisari

Hi ritav,


Very nice bread. My father was a professional baker and made us Easter breads every year with the eggs in them. They were in figure 8's with two eggs. A tradition he brought with him from Italy. We looked forward to them every year.


 


John

ritav's picture
ritav

John:


If you don't have your father's recipe, I hope you try mine.  Feel free to ask questions.


Rita

jpchisari's picture
jpchisari

Hi Rita,


Thanks for the offer, but I have most of his formulas. Fortunately, he kept a journal of a great deal of mostly pastry formulas. He also taught me a great deal about breadmaking, which compelled me to go to Culinary School. FYI He put the eggs in hard boiled/no shell.


 


John

ritav's picture
ritav

Hi John:


I bet you have quite a collection of pastry recipes.  Actually, I baked before I cooked.  I currently teach Italian cooking and baking.  When you get a chance visit www.ritaventurino.com.


Regards,


Rita