Italian Easter Bread

Cook time: 35 Min  Prep time: 1 Hr 15 Min  Serves: 6

Ingredients:

3 c all-purpose flour, unsifted
1 tsp salt
1/4 c sugar
1 pkg quick-rise active dry yeast
2/3 c milk
2 Tbsp butter, softened
2 eggs, room temperature
6 raw colored eggs
2 Tbsp melted butter
GLAZE
1 c 10x sugar
2 Tbsp butter softened
2 Tbsp milk (add more a bit at a time, if needed)
1 tsp vanilla

Directions:

1. Dye the uncooked eggs and let sit for about an hour while working on the dough.
2. In a large bowl, combine 2-1/2 cups flour, sugar, salt, and undissolved yeast.
3. Heat milk and 2 tablespoon butter in a saucepan and over low heat until liquids are warm (120 to 130 degrees).
4. Add to dry ingredients. Beat 2 minutes at medium speed. Scraping bowl occasionally.
5. Add 2 eggs and 1/2 cup flour. Beat at high speed 2 minutes.
6. Stir in enough additional flour to make dough soft.
7. Turn onto a floured board. Knead about 8 to 10 minutes.
8. Place in greased bowl. Turn to grease top. Cover and let rise until doubled. About 1 hour.
9. Punch dough down.
10. Place dough on a floured board; divide in 1/2.
11. Roll each piece of dough into a 24-inch rope.
12. Twist ropes together loosely.
13. Form into a ring on a greased baking sheet.
14. Place colored eggs into spaces in the twist.
15. Brush with melted butter. Cover and let rise until doubled. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes.
16. Before bread is completely cooled, stir together glaze ingredients.
17. Bush on with a pastry brush.
18. Optional: As you can see, I shake some coconut in a jar with just a couple drops of green food coloring to sprinkle around the “bird’s nest” for decoration. Enjoy!!

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