Sweet Italian Easter Bread is a traditional Italian Easter accompaniment. It's a delicious, tender, easy to follow recipe. And an oh so sweet bread that will make your Easter table even more festive! Spectacular step-by-step photos!
Every family has their own special traditions and their own special recipes. This is my version of the traditional Italian Easter Bread, we prefer a sweet Easter bread. You can also make this savory. You can add fruits, vegetables, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes. There are so many options.
It is like a little Easter present for each guest. And lets be honest. Sprinkles make me happy! There, I said it. I think my daughter, "the sprinkle princess" has rubbed off on me, because they are now my favorite too. It is really hard to eat rainbow sprinkles and be cranky.
One of our readers wrote in and shared that her family makes this every Easter, but shapes it like an eternity symbol and uses two eggs for families to prosper. I am absolutely doing that this year.
About the egg: If you are serving right away the egg is fantastic to eat, otherwise you need to remove the egg from the bread and refrigerate. When you are ready to serve, place the egg back on the bread.
Have a blessed Easter!!
With love from our kitchen table to yours! XO
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Check out some of our favorite fabulous Easter bread recipes: Click on the image or the bold recipe title and it will open each one in a new tab.
The Best Ever Challah Bread is a rich egg bread made sweet with the addition of honey. Our "tried and true" Challah recipe has been tested for years and is always amazing and absolutely impressive whether baked in a bread pan or 6 braided (as pictured). It really is the best ever!
Red Lobster Copycat Cheddar Bay Biscuits are light and flaky, garlicky cheddar drop biscuits glistening with butter and speckled with parsley. Slightly crisp on the outside and perfectly tender on the inside. Ready in 20 Minutes and perfect for Easter dinner.
Copycat Texas Roadhouse Rolls are fabulous tender sweet rolls slathered in butter that are perfect enough to be a meal in itself. OK, so I am an admitted carbivore. But these are the most delicious dinner rolls. Perfectly sweet and tender.
Italian Easter Bread
½ cup unsalted butter + 1 tablespoon, divided
1 ¼ cup milk
2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
½ cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs, divided
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3-4 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup simple syrup*see Cook's note
6 large eggs, uncooked and colored
Combine milk and 1/2 cup of butter in saucepan over low and cook until butter melts. Pour butter mixture into bowl of stand mixer.
Allow mixture to cool to 110°-120° degrees. Add yeast and sugar. Stir to combine. Allow mixture to stand for 10 minutes so yeast can bloom.
Meanwhile: Beat 2 eggs and set aside. In a separate bowl beat the remaining egg and add 1 tablespoon water and whisk to combine. Set aside.
Add 2 beaten eggs, vanilla extract and 2 cups of flour. Combine with the dough hook attachment. Add flour 1/2 cup at a time until dough is not sticky anymore. I use the full 4 cups. Knead bread dough until smooth with the dough hook, about 5 minutes.
Turn out onto floured surface and knead until you have a smooth ball. Place 1 tablespoon butter in large glass bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. Place dough in greased bowl and flip to coat both sides. Cover with plastic wrap and a towel and let rise until doubled (about 90 minutes).
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Punch dough down, divide into 12 pieces.
Roll each piece to form a 1 inch thick rope about 12-14 inches long. Taking two pieces, braid together, pinching the ends, and loop into a circle.
Place circle on a parchment lined baking sheet and lightly cover and let rise until doubled in size (about 60 minutes).
Preheat oven to 350°. Brush each bread ring with egg wash and set dyed Easter egg in the center of the ring, gently pushing down to make an indentation in the bread. Bake until golden brown, approximately 20-25 minutes.
Cook's Note: Simple Syrup can be made by combining 1 part sugar and 1 part water in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook until it comes to a boil and sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Store in refrigerator until ready to use (keeps for several days).
Originally posted April 4, 2012