3.75
4 ratings

Easter Bread With Colored Eggs

A decorative bread with eggs baked right into the dough
Easter Bread With Colored Eggs
Natalia Wimberley/Shutterstock

This colorful bread is a fun and festive way to celebrate Easter, and makes a beautiful centerpiece for your holiday table.

This recipe is from Chef Sal Scognamillo of Patsy's Italian Restaurant in New York City and was originally published in the Chicago Tribune.

Ready in
3 h and 30 m
3 h
(prepare time)
30 m
(cook time)
10
Servings
411
Calories Per Serving

Ingredients

For the sweet dough:

  • 1 Cup whole milk
  • 1/2 Cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon instant yeast (also called bread-machine)
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 Teaspoons anise seeds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 5 Cups unbleached all-purpose flour, as needed
  • 6 Tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons, at room temperature, plus softened butter for the bowl

To make the bread:

  • 6 dyed Easter eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 teaspoon whole milk, for glaze
  • 2 Teaspoons nonpareils (colored sugar decorations), for garnish

Directions

For the sweet dough:

Step 1: In the bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer, combine 1 cup whole milk, 1/2 cup sugar, 2 large eggs, 1 tablespoon instant yeast, the zest from 1 lemon, 2 teaspoons anise seeds and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Mix with the paddle attachment on low speed until combined.

Step 2: Gradually add 3 1/2 cups of the flour to make a thick batter. Beat in the room temperature butter, one tablespoon at a time, waiting for the first addition to be absorbed before adding more (6 tablespoons in total).

Step 3: Gradually add enough of the remaining flour (about 1 1/2 more cups) to make a soft dough that cleans the bowl. Switch to the dough hook and mix on medium-low speed, occasionally pulling down the dough as it climbs up the hook until the dough is smooth, shiny and slightly sticky (do not add too much flour), about 8 minutes.

Step 4: Butter a large bowl. Gather the dough into a ball. Turn the dough in the bowl to coat it, leaving the dough smooth side up. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 1/4 hours. (Or refrigerate the dough for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours.)

To make the bread:

Step 1: Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Divide the dough into thirds. Roll each piece of dough underneath your palms on the work surface into an 20-inch rope, tapering the ends. Line up the ropes next to each other. Starting from the center, braid the ropes to each end, pinching the rope ends together to shape into a tapered loaf.

Step 2: Transfer the braid to the parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let stand in a warm draft-free place until almost doubled in volume, about 1 hour (or about 1 1/2 hours for chilled dough).

Step 3: During the last 15 minutes of rising, distribute 6 dyed Easter eggs evenly over the top of the braid, nesting them in the seams.

Step 4: Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Step 5: Beat 1 large egg yolk with 1 teaspoon whole milk to make an egg glaze. Brush the braid lightly with the egg glaze and sprinkle with 2 teaspoons nonpareils.

Step 6: Bake until the loaf is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom, about 30 minutes. Let cool completely before slicing.