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Braided Easter bread

Braided Easter Bread


This sweet, delicious braided Easter bread is easier to make than it looks!  With real eggs tucked inside, this showstopper Italian Easter bread will bring lots of smiles at Easter dinner.

Course Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Braided Easter bread, Easter bread, Italian bread
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Rising Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings 16 people

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 6 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 6 Tbsp butter, cut into cubes
  • 4 eggs
  • 4-5 hard-boiled eggs
  • 2 Tbsp water

Instructions

  1. Mix the sugar, yeast, salt, and 2 cups of flour in a large bowl. I used my metal Kitchen Aid bowl and machine.

  2. Heat milk and butter to 125 degrees in a small saucepan, then add to dry ingredients. Mix on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add 3 eggs, then beat on high for 2 minutes. Add flour until a soft dough is formed. The dough will be sticky.
  3. Knead the bread by hand until it's smoth and elastic for about 8 minutes, OR use the dough hook and a Kitchen Aid to knead the dough for about 5 minutes.

  4. Place the dough in a greased bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled for 45 minutes. If you want to use colored hard-boiled eggs in your bread, now is the time to color them, while the dough is rising.

  5. Punch down the dough that has risen, and split into 3 pieces. Roll each piece of dough into a rope that is 24" long, then make a long braid with the pieces. Place the bread braid on a greased baking sheet and pinch the ends together to make a ring. I stretched my ring out a little from the middle so that there would be a bigger hole in the middle once it was cooked.
  6. Coat the hard-boiled eggs with a little oil, then tuck inside the dough ropes. Cover the whole thing with a dish towel and let rise in a warm place for 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  7. Whisk together the last egg and 2 Tbsp. of water. Brush the egg wash over the dough, avoiding the eggs. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the bread is a nice golden brown. This braided Easter bread can be placed on a cooling rack and served warm, or can be made ahead of time. This recipe was adapted from Taste of Home.