We won’t deny that there are a lot steps to this recipe, but the reward is a light, fluffly and slightly sweet bread that complements your Easter brunch or dinner table.
It’s also a tasty way to use your decorated Easter eggs outside of the hunt.
Everyone seems to have their own take on Pane di Pasqua, so you should feel free to make this recipe your own.
You’ll need a food processor or a standing mixer and Easter eggs made with food-safe dyes and decorations.
Let’s get started!
- 6 dyed easter eggs
- 1 whole egg
- 2/3 cup whole milk
- 5 tablespoons sugar
- 1 3/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (from one 1/4-ounce envelope)
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 tablespoon melted butter (or cooking spray)
Heat the milk in small saucepan on your stove top or in the microwave. Once heated, transfer to a measuring cup or mixing bowl and stir in one tablespoon of sugar. Pour yeast into the milk and blend.
Let the mixture sit until foamy. After about five minutes, whisk in the 2 large eggs. In a standing mixer bowl or food processor, combine remaining sugar, flour, and salt. Add the milk mixture.
Attach bowl to mixer, and use the dough attachment on your mixer. With the mixer running, add 1/2 of the room temperature butter one spoonful at a time. Only add another spoonful once the previous spoonful is well-blended.
Knead the dough on medium-high speed about 5 minutes. Place dough into a bowl greased with melted butter or cooking spray, cover with plastic wrap and allow dough to rise at room temperature about 90 minutes. The dough should double in size.
Pro Tips: If you want to make your Easter Bread a little fancy, you can add a tablespoon of vanilla or a little bit of orange zest. You can also add some sprinkles or sesame seeds to the top of your bread.
Once your dough is ready, line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. You are going to braid the dough. Start by dividing the dough into 3 equal parts. You’ll want to lightly flour your hands so the dough doesn’t stick to your hands. Roll each part into about a 16-inch rope.
Now take the three ropes of dough and pinch the top ends together to hold the braid together. Once braided, you will have about 12 inches of dough. Now you have two options. You can keep the bread as one loaf or divide it into 3 four-inch pieces to make individual loaves. If you want one large loaf, tuck the eggs between the braids. Or pinch the ends of the four-inch pieces together and tuck a single egg into the center.
Loosely cover and allow the dough to sit in a warm place until it is slightly puffed. This should take about 45-50 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Whisk one whole egg with a tablespoon of warm water. Brush dough all over with egg wash, and make sure to avoid the dyed easter eggs. Place in the oven and bake until golden brown–approximately 20-25 minutes.
Let cool, and enjoy your Easter Bread!
Looking for gourmet food without the gourmet prices?
Check out the deals in our Weekly Ad.