April 27, 2014

Italian Easter Bread (Daring Bakers' Challenge)

What is that in the middle of the bread? It's a dyed Easter egg! This month's Daring Bakers' Challenge was Easter bread. Many of them featured whole eggs worked into the bread. I liked how this Italian version looks like an egg in a cozy bread nest.

The April Daring Baker’s Challenge was hosted by Wolf of Wolf’s Den . She challenged us to Spring into our kitchens and make Easter breads reflecting cultures around the world.

Although I thought the egg in the middle of the bread was kind of cool...if a little weird, I don't like eggs cooked in the shell at all. Therefore, to reduce the number of wasted eggs, I only used an egg in the middle for one of my bread loaves. For the rest, I used part of the bread dough to form an egg shape and dye it with food coloring. The result was more weird than the egg version.

That blue one is downright scary.
When I make this again, I think I'll probably leave out the center decoration altogether - the braided look of the bread is pretty cool on its own I think.

I'm not a huge bread fan (I prefer cake), but I found this bread to be very tasty - a little sweet and very soft. It's also fairly easy to make, so I'll probably be returning to this recipe very soon.

Italian Easter Bread
Adapted from The Italian Dish.  Makes 6 loaves of Easter bread.

⅓ cup butter
1¼ cups milk
2¼ teaspoons instant yeast
⅛ teaspoons salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten with a fork
½ cup sugar
3½ cups flour (approximate)
1 egg, lightly beaten with a fork with 1 teaspoon of water
6 dyed uncooked eggs (optional)

  1. Warm the butter and milk in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once the butter melts, remove from the heat and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the yeast, salt, eggs, and sugar until combined.
  3. Once the butter/milk mixture has cooled so it won't kill the yeast (warm but not hot - body temperature) add it to the yeast mixture and mix to combine.
  4. Slowly add the flour until the dough is firm. Remove the paddle attachment and replace it with a dough hook attachment. Knead for 10 minutes.
  5. Transfer the dough to a greased bowl and allow to rise until doubled (about an hour).
  6. Punch the dough down. Divide into twelve pieces.
  7. Roll/pull two pieces into a foot-long rope. Pinch the tops of the two together and then twist the ropes around each other to form a simple braid. Pinch the bottoms together and then connect top and bottom to form a circle. Pinch top and bottom together. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
  8. Repeat with the other pieces until you have 6 rolls.
  9. Allow the rolls to rise again until double (about an hour).
  10. Brush each roll with the egg/water mixture. If desired, place a dyed egg in the center of each roll.
  11. Bake at 350° F for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow to cool on a wire rack.


  1. Ok, I admit, I laughed at the bread egg attempts.}:P They look funny, but the bread itself still looks great!

  2. I love the funny weird bread! Glad you posted even the weird results to your blog too, it makes us all feel better, I know I have made some things that turned out really strange in my own kitchen. Fun bread challenge, good job.


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