An Italian Family Tradition is to make Homemade Easter Bread with colored eggs to celebrate the Easter holiday. It’s not that difficult to make and the kids always enjoy the colored eggs in the center of the bread. Enjoy some fresh from the oven or the day after toasted with a little butter. This is such an amazing bread recipe you might even use it all year long!
Do you have a family tradition for Easter? For years my sister has been making Easter Bread for her family and always shares a small loaf with us to enjoy. I
love Easter Bread. It’s so festive and makes such a pretty presentation and lovely gift to bring to the hostess for Easter Sunday dinner.
If you’re looking for a shortcut version of this recipe using frozen bread dough, check out my new recipe for Individual Easter Bread Rings. If you find yourself a little too busy to make a homemade bread recipe, so this is a nice alternative.
Italian Easter Bread
The recipe I’m sharing with you below is my sister’s recipe. There are quite a few recipes out there that use a sweet glaze or icing to spread over the Easter bread, but that makes it more like a dessert and not bread.
It’s really important that you use RAW colored eggs with this recipe. The eggs will cook in the oven while the bread bakes. Do not use already hard-boiled eggs as they might explode in the oven and you’ll have a huge mess to clean up.
How to Make Italian Easter Bread
Make sure you print out the recipe below and save it for later!
Ingredients for the Easter Bread
- 1 cup warm milk 105 – 115 degrees
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 5 cups flour; more if needed
- 1 cup butter melted COOLED butter
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tsp grated Lemon Zest
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- Easter Egg Coloring Kit
Ingredients for the Egg Wash/Glaze
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tbsp water
Instructions for the Easter Bread
- In a small bowl, combine the heated milk with the package of dry yeast and 2 tbsp sugar. Set aside until the mixture is foamy.
- In a mixing bowl with the dough hook attached, add 4 cups of the flour along with the remaining ingredients.
- Once the yeast mixture has “proofed” add it to the mixing bowl as well and begin to combine everything together.
- If the dough becomes too sticky or wet, add more of the remaining flour.
- Once the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl and come together, set your kitchen timer for 8 minutes and let the machine “knead” the dough for you.
- Remove the dough from the mixing bowl to a floured surfaced and knead by hand for a few minutes.
- Place the dough in another clean mixing bowl that has a little bit of oil rubbed over the entire bowl.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel…set aside to rise until doubled in size.
- While the dough is rising, dye 3 to 4 eggs…keeping them RAW.
- After the dough has doubled, punch it down and transfer to a floured surface.
- Divide the dough into two balls and slowly work them into long ropes.
- Braid the two ropes into one loaf and place on a baking tray that is lined with parchment paper.
- Insert the RAW colored eggs into sections of the braided loaf of bread.
- Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to double again.
- Make the egg wash using the yolk only of the remaining egg and 1 tbsp of water.
- Carefully brush the bread with the egg wash.
- Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes or until the bread is golden brown.
Helpful Kitchen Tools
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- Cooking and Baking Kitchen Thermometer – I love the digital one and use mine for so much!
- Easter Egg Coloring Kit
- Parchment Baking Sheets – I use these for so much more than baking!
Let’s Get Cooking!
After the dough has risen once, divide into two balls.
Work the dough into two long strips or ropes or as the kids like to call them, “snakes” and begin to braid.
Insert the RAW colored eggs into sections of the braided dough. Don’t worry, the eggs will cook in the oven as the bread bakes. Cover with plastic wrap loosely and allow the bread to double in size.
Brush with the egg wash and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes or until the bread is golden brown. You can definitely eat the eggs or use for egg salad.
Other ways to Form the Easter Bread Dough
- Usually I will form the Easter bread dough into a traditional long loaf as I did above. However, sometimes it’s fun to be creative.
- You can form the bread dough into a large ring and insert more colored eggs.
- Or you can make individual rings out of the dough. This size and shape is always fun if you want to give the Easter bread to neighbors or as a hostess gift.
How to Make Easter Bread using Frozen Bread Dough
Yes, it can be done! I have a recipe here on my site that uses frozen bread dough to create a “shortcut” version of the traditional Italian Easter Bread. I made a sweet glaze out of powdered sugar and decorated the individual mini rings with fun colorful sprinkles.
More Delicious Easter Recipes
- Individual Italian Easter Bread Rings using Frozen Bread Dough
- Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Eggs
- Marshmallow Bunny Peeps Pudding Cups
- Mini Easter Bundt Cakes
- Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Peeps
You must use RAW eggs. They will cook in the oven while the bread is cooking. As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
For the Bread
For the Egg Wash/Glaze
Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 306 Total Fat: 14g Saturated Fat: 8g Trans Fat: 1g Unsaturated Fat: 5g Cholesterol: 80mg Sodium: 265mg Carbohydrates: 39g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 8g Protein: 6g
You must use RAW eggs. They will cook in the oven while the bread is cooking.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.