Italian Easter Bread
A beautiful centerpiece for your Easter celebration!
Yield: 4 breads
- ¾ cup milk
- ¼ cup butter (cool, cut in small pieces)
- 2 large eggs (room temperature)
- 3 cups bread flour
- 3 Tbsp sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp grated lemon peel or crushed anise seed
- 2¼ tsp (one package) RED STAR Active Dry Yeast
- 4 large colored eggs, raw
- 2 tsp colored confetti sprinkles
- 1 large, beaten egg
- 1 tsp water
BREAD MACHINE METHOD
- Place ingredients in the pan in the order listed. Select the dough/manual cycle. At the end of the program, press clear/stop. To punch the dough down, press start and let knead for 60 seconds. Press clear/stop again. Remove the dough and let rest 5 minutes before hand shaping. See Shaping and Baking instructions below.
- Combine yeast, 1 cup flour and other dry ingredients. Heat milk to 120° to 130° F.
- Hand-Held Mixer Method
- Combine dry mixture, milk, and butter in mixing bowl on low speed. Beat 2 to 3 minutes on medium speed. Add eggs; beat 1 minute. By hand, stir in enough remaining flour to make a firm dough. Knead on floured surface 5 to 7 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Use additional bread flour if necessary. Place dough in lightly oiled bowl and turn to grease top. Cover; let rise until dough tests ripe.
- Stand Mixer Method
- Combine dry mixture, milk, and butter in mixing bowl with paddle or beaters for 4 minutes on medium speed. Add eggs; beat 1 minute. Gradually add remaining flour and knead with dough hook(s) 5 to 7 minutes until smooth and elastic. Place dough in lightly oiled bowl and turn to grease top. Cover; let rise until dough tests ripe.
- Food Processor Method
- Put dry mixture in processing bowl with steel blade. While motor is running, add eggs, milk, and butter. Process until mixed. Continue processing adding remaining bread flour until dough forms a ball. Place dough in lightly oiled bowl and turn to grease top. Cover; let rise until dough tests ripe.
SHAPING AND BAKING
- 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 lightly greased baking pans. Cover with a clean kitchen cloth and let rise until indentation remains after lightly touching the side of the bread, about 1 to 1½ 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.
- *You can substitute Instant (fast-rising) yeast in place of Active Dry Yeast. When using Instant Yeast, expect your dough to rise faster. Always let your dough rise until ripe. Traditional methods: use equal amounts; Bread Machine: use ½ tsp Instant Yeast OR ¾ tsp Active Dry Yeast per cup of flour in your recipe. Visit our Lessons in Yeast & Baking for more information.
- Recipe adapted by RED STAR Yeast from The Ultimate Bread Machine Cookbook by Tom Lacalamita.
Serving size: 1 Bread Calories: 660 Total Fat: 23g Saturated fat: 11g Carbohydrates: 88g Sugar: 13g Sodium: 440mg Fiber: 3g Protein: 26g Cholesterol: 405mg