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Italian Easter Bread

This festive holiday bread with an egg in the middle is fun to create with family and makes a beautiful centerpiece for your Easter celebration!
Italian Easter Bread
Yield 4 breads


  • 3 cups bread flour, divided
  • 1 (0.25oz) package (7g) or 2 1/4 teaspoons Red Star Active Dry Yeast
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel or crushed anise seed
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter (cold, cut in small pieces)
  • 2 large eggs (room temperature)


  • Egg wash: 1 egg plus 1 teaspoon water (beaten together)
  • 4 large colored eggs (uncooked)
  • 2 teaspoons colored confetti sprinkles


  • In stand mixer bowl, add 1 cup flour, yeast, sugar, salt, and lemon peel or anise seeds; mix well. In saucepan or microwave-safe dish, heat milk to 120-130°F. Add milk and butter to flour mixture. Using a paddle attachment, blend on low speed for 30 seconds; beat on medium speed for 4 minutes. Add eggs; beat 1 minute.
  • Switch to dough hook attachment. Gradually stir in enough remaining flour to make a firm dough. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 to 7 minutes.
    (NOTE: For hand mixing: following above steps, mix ingredients in large mixing bowl using a wooden spoon or dough whisk. Knead on floured surface until smooth and elastic.)
  • Place dough in lightly oiled bowl and turn to grease top. Cover; let rise until indentation remains after poking dough with finger down to second knuckle, about 1 hour.
  • Prepare pans: Grease two cookie sheets; set aside.
  • Lightly sprinkle work surface with flour. Divide dough into four equal pieces. Roll each piece of dough into a 12-inch long rope. Wrap each rope around a colored egg. Cross the ends. Pinch together, and cut off any excess dough. Place on prepared pans. Cover with a clean kitchen cloth and let rise until indentation remains after lightly touching the side of the bread, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Brush bread with egg wash taking care not to get any on the eggs. Sprinkle with confetti sprinkles. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until a deep golden brown.


Get Bread Machine Method here.