Celebrate With A Traditional Italian Easter Egg Bread

Baskets filled with jelly beans and chocolate bunnies are ready to be set out. New spring dresses are hung in the closet.

The kids are whispering and wondering about that magical bunny that will soon visit their homes. Colorful eggs are dyed in preparation for an egg hunt.

Traditional Italian Braided Easter Egg Bread | Foodal.com

Italian Braided Easter Egg Bread is fun twist to the standard afternoon feast and is a fun tradition to try out even if you aren’t Italian. Bright and colorful eggs are enveloped in a deliciously sweet dough making for a beautiful edible centerpiece. https://foodal.com/holidays/easter/celebrate-with-a-traditional-italian-easter-egg-bread/

It is time to start getting ready for the Easter festivities.

Baking an Italian Braided Easter Egg Bread is another fun tradition to uphold. Bright and colorful eggs are enveloped in a deliciously sweet dough.

Eggs are a common Easter symbol, because they represent fertility and rebirth.

Celebrate With A Traditional Italian Easter Egg Bread | Foodal.com

The eggs should not be cooked before adding them to the dough. Rather, they will cook in the oven as the bread bakes.

Before you start preparing the dough, dye the eggs according to the directions on the box. You can also use natural dyes, letting them sit for an hour as they soak in the colors. The longer they are allowed to sit in the dye mixture, the more vibrant they, and your Easter bread, will be.

Italian Easter Bread Recipe | Foodal.com

Be sure to check out other Italian Easter traditions here!

Italian Easter Bread Recipe | Foodal.com
Italian Easter Bread
Votes: 5
Rating: 3.2
You: 4
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
1 loaf
1 loaf
Italian Easter Bread Recipe | Foodal.com
Italian Easter Bread
Votes: 5
Rating: 3.2
You: 4
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
1 loaf
1 loaf
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 2/3 cup milk,
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
  • 6 uncooked eggs dyed if desired
Egg Wash
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon water
Sugar Glaze (Optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk,
  • 2 teaspoons Lemon juice
Servings: loaf
  1. Combine milk and butter in a small saucepan. Heat until milk is warm and butter is softened.
  2. Gradually add the milk and butter to the flour mixture; stirring constantly until well blended.
  3. Add two eggs and ½ cup flour.
  4. Add the remaining flour, ½ cup at a time, stirring until well combined.
  5. Add grated lemon peel.
  6. Place dough on a lightly floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes, until smooth and elastic.
  7. Form the dough into a ball.
  8. Generously grease a large bowl with butter and place the dough ball in the bowl, turning to coat with butter.
  9. Cover bowl and let the dough rise in a warm area until it has doubled in size (about 1 hour.)
  10. Remove dough from bowl, and divide it into 2 equal parts. Cover and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes.
  11. Shape dough sections into long rolls or ropes, about 36 inches long and 1 ½ inches in diameter.
  12. Loosely twist ropes into a braided ring making 5 inch spaces for the colored eggs. Optionally, you can make smaller circles with your dough as pictured below if you don't want a giant piece of bread.
  13. Cover, and allow the dough to rise for another hour.
  14. Carefully insert the raw colored eggs between the dough braids.
  15. Beat egg yolk and 1 tablespoon of water to form an egg wash.
  16. Brush dough with egg wash, being especially careful not to get any on the colored eggs or the dye will bleed.
  17. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  18. Bake 45 to 50 minutes, or until golden brown.
Optional Glaze
  1. In a small bowl add confectioners sugar, milk, and lemon juice, Stir together until smooth, adding more liquid until the mixture is thick, but still liquid enough to be poured over loaf.
Recipe Notes

Some people like to add colored sprinkles and/or a sugar glaze to the bread after baking; I've included a simple glace recipe for your convenience.

Once your bread is baked and you are ready to serve, remove the eggs and slice up with a sharp, serrated bread knife.


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About Jennifer Swartvagher

Jennifer is an experienced journalist and author. Her work has been featured on TODAY Parents, The New York Times Blog, BlogHer, Scary Mommy, and scores of other parenting and cooking publications.

15 thoughts on “Celebrate With A Traditional Italian Easter Egg Bread”

  1. That bread looks awesome. For me, there’s nothing better than waking up to a homemade, fresh loaf in the morning. This would go perfectly with some tea, and maybe lots of extra butter and jam in it.

    What’s the traditional Italian way? Eat it by itself or with some spreads?

  2. I have always enjoyed this bread with a cup of warm tea. I have never used butter or jams to accompany it. It is delicious all on its own.

  3. That bread looks amazing with the vibrant colour eggs in them. I have often cooked eggs in the oven, but never in their shells before. I guess you could use natural dyes such as turmeric and paprika to colour the egg shells as well as the method we used as a child which left the egg shells multi-coloured, but I can’t for the life of me think what it was called.

    The Individual rolls look really stunning especially with the bows on them.

    • I found that it is relatively easy to hard boil eggs in the oven.
      Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
      Take a 12 cup muffin pan, and put a whole egg in each cup.
      Bake for 30 minutes, remove eggs from pan and immediately place in an ice water bath.
      Peel after allowing eggs to cool.

      Some natural dyes make beautifully colored eggs.

      • I’ve remembered what we used to do, it was to wrap the eggs in various different coloured onion skins to dye them in a marbled effect.

  4. They look amazing, but I don’t think my bread making skills are up to this just yet, but I am wiling to practice. I do like looking at other peoples work and it looks simple, but time consuming so I will need a year of practice I think.

  5. Whilst the colored eggs do look good, I’m not sure I would go to the trouble of dyeing some especially. I’m sure these would look equally delicious unadorned! What actually happens with the eggs anyhow? I assume that they cook in the oven but are they then edible?

  6. Oh wow! I don’t have a bread maker,and don’t plan on getting one. I like to get my hands in there and actually make it myself. Apt of the recipes now a days wants you to have one. Trusts why I’m so excited a out this recipe. It looks good and I can make it with my hands. I am definitely going to give it a go at my next family gathering!

  7. It’s so pretty. I’ve always wanted to make some. I was hoping you would post something about it. Using uncooked eggs sounds a lot better than some recommendations to go ahead and use boiled ones. I definitely wouldn’t try to eat them after that.

    I think I would just make mine into a ring, like the last picture, and add the eggs afterward. Thanks for the recipe (the bread looks delicious) and the tips. I hope you, and everyone here, has a happy Easter.

  8. I have never heard of Italian Easter Bread, but am very happy to have found this recipe. I am always looking for ways to impress my family at the holidays with unique, themed foods. For my particular use, I think I will make one large loaf. Could you tell me an approximate time that this recipe takes (from start to finish). I’m trying to plan my Easter weekend accordingly. Happy Easter and thank you, again, for this dazzling recipe.

  9. I love how colorful the loaf is with the Easter eggs in it. I’ve seen pictures of this type of bread before, but have never attempted to make it. It didn’t occur to me that the eggs would be raw upon entering the oven, and that they would cook in the bread, but that makes sense. I always think of colored eggs as hard boiled before being colored, probably because I have butter fingers ;). This recipe does look a little advanced, but it’s something I might try at some point. Happy Easter, Everyone!

  10. This is the first time I have seen this tradition. I had no idea you could dye eggs this way and then cook them raw in the oven. I always thought they may explode. However, this is a very nice and colorful tradition which will especially attract children and get them to eat their eggs!

  11. Oh, that looks so delicious! I’m definitely going to try it! The only thing that worries me, though, is whether I have the right kind of yeast. In the country I currently live in, there’s only one kind of yeast sold in the stores. It’s granulated and in small packages which makes me think that maybe it’s active dry yeast, but I’m not sure. Do you think the bread will turn out ok if I’m wrong? I plan to make one bread for my family and a few rings with eggs in them for friends. They will be so thrilled!:)
    Thank you for that wonderful recipe!

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