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Horizontal image of two mini bread rings with glaze and sprinkles and dyed eggs, in front of purple and yellow flowers.

Italian Easter Bread with Dyed Eggs


  • Author: Nikki Cervone
  • Prep Time: 3 hours
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours 25 minutes
  • Yield: 3 small bread rings 1x

Description

Topped with a dyed egg and filled with a scattering of candied fruits, nuts, and anise seeds, you’ll enjoy this Italian Easter Bread.


Ingredients

Scale

For the Bread:

  • 2 1/23 cups unsifted all-purpose flour, divided, plus more for dusting
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs, plus one egg yolk
  • 1 cup mixed candied fruits
  • 1/2 cup chopped blanched almonds
  • 1/2 teaspoon anise seed
  • 3 raw eggs, dyed in various colors

For the Glaze and Sprinkles (Optional):

  • 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup multicolored nonpareils

Instructions

For the Bread:

  1. In a large bowl, combine 1 cup flour, the sugar, salt, and yeast.*
  2. Heat milk and butter in a saucepan over low heat until the liquid is just warm and the butter is completely melted.
  3. Add the milk mixture to the dry ingredients, and stir with a sturdy spoon. Add the 2 eggs.
  4. Gradually add the flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until a very soft, slightly sticky dough forms. You may not need to use all of the flour.
  5. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead by hand for about 5-8 minutes, until very smooth and elastic.
  6. Shape into a ball, and place in a bowl lightly greased with butter or oil, rolling it around to coat the entire ball in a thin film of fat. Cover, and let rise until doubled, about one hour.
  7. Punch the dough down, and turn onto the same lightly floured work surface. Knead in the fruits, almonds, and anise seed.
  8. Divide the dough into 3 equal parts. Divide each part into halves – there should be 6 pieces total. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Roll each piece of dough into about a 12-inch rope. Place two ropes together, and pinch one end. Twist the ropes together. Form into a ring on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Repeat with the other 2 sets of ropes, making a total of 3 bread rings.
  9. Cover, and let rise again until doubled, about 1 hour.
  10. Carefully place a dyed egg in the center of each dough ring. Whisk together the egg yolk and 1 tablespoon water. Carefully brush the top and sides of the bread, avoiding the dyed egg. 
  11. Bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes, until puffed and golden brown on the outside. Remove from the baking sheet and let cool completely.

For the Glaze and Decorating (Optional): 

  1. Whisk together the confectioners’ sugar, milk, and vanilla. Let sit and thicken slightly, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.
  2. Once the bread is cool, spread the glaze evenly around the top of each ring. Let harden slightly before garnishing with sprinkles. Serve and enjoy! 

Notes

*Instead of by hand, you can mix and knead the dough in a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment. 

  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Baked Goods

Keywords: Italian Easter bread, eggs, Easter recipes, anise, almond