Italian Easter Bread

Ingredients for Italian Easter Bread

Flour Salt Milk Vanilla Yeast Citrus zest Butter Sprinkles

Whisk the dry ingredients together.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together the flour, salt, yeast, and zest. Then stir in the milk and make a little well in the center of the dough ingredients.

Add the eggs.

Add the eggs and turn the mixer with the dough hook attachment onto medium speed. Kneed the dough for about 2 minutes. 

Let the dough rise.

Time for the first rise! Cover the bowl with plastic or a clean towel and let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in size..

Kneed in the butter.

After the dough has doubled in size and looks like this, uncover the dough and turn the mixer with the dough hook attached onto medium high speed. Add the butter in 3 to 4 equal parts.

Just keep kneeding!

Keep kneading the dough in the stand mixer until it's smooth, glossy, and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. 

Let it rise again.

Time for the second rise! Cover the dough again and put it back the covered dough back into a warm spot until it has doubled in size again.

Divide the dough.

Once the dough has doubled, divide it into 3 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a rope so you can braid the Easter bread.

Braid the Italian Easter bread.

Pinch the ends of the dough ropes together and braid. Close the braid pinching the bottom ends together.

Shape the braid into a circle.

Italian Easter bread is often served as a wreath.  Press the two ends of the braided dough together to make a wreath.

Last rise!

Let the dough rise for a third and final time until the wreath doubles in size.

Brush on the egg wash.

Beat an egg with a tablespoon of water and brush the mixture on the Italian Easter bread with a pastry brush.

Add the eggs.

Press uncooked dyed or undyed eggs into the wreath.

Decorate the bread!

Add nonpariel sprinkles to the bread. Make sure you have brushed it with egg wash first or the sprinkles won't stick!

Bake the Italian Easter bread.

Bake the bread uncovered for 15 minutes. Cover it and bake for another 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown and hollow sounding.


Full recipe: