Italian Easter Bread!
Photo Courtesy of Spice Junket.
Around Easter, I have always seen beautiful braided breads decorated with colored Easter eggs in local bakeries. I always thought they were pretty, but I never knew anything about them. Recently, I found out that these colorful rings are loaves of Italian Easter bread! Learn more about them and get recipes after the jump!
It turns out that colorful eggs are not all this recipe has to boast about. Italian Easter bread is full of candied fruit and nuts! You can even give it a sweet frosting to top it off! Click here too see a deliciously frosted Italian Easter bread recipe!
I, personally, prefer recipes that are a bit easier to make. This Easter bread recipe has all the goodness of the first recipe (yummy fruits and nuts), but without the hassle of making frosting for the top! Here it is:
* 2 1/4-3 1/4 C. flour
* 1/4 C. sugar
* 1 tsp. salt
* 1 pkg. rapid-rise dry yeast
* 2 eggs, beaten
* 2/3 C. warm milk
* 2 Tbs. butter, melted
* 1 Tbs. anise seed
* 1/2 C. candied fruit (optional)
* 1/4 C. chopped nuts (optional)
* 5 raw colored eggs
Combine 1 C. of the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast. Add dry mixture to the milk and melted butter mixture, along with the eggs. Beat with a mixer for 2 minutes. Stir in enough of the remaining flour and the anise seed plus any of the candied fruit or nuts to make a soft dough. Knead for 8-10 minutes. Add flour as necessary so dough is not sticky. Let rise for about 1-1 1/2 hour or until double in size.
Divide dough in half. Roll each piece into 24″ rope. Overlap dough over itself (twist 2 pieces together) connecting the 4 end pieces to form a wreath. place on greased baking sheet. Place the five raw colored eggs into spaces between twists. Brush with melted butter. Let rise for 1 hour. Bake at 350 for 35-50 minutes.
If you prefer savory bread to sweet, you could also try making a traditional Crescia bread. Crescia bread has the same braided ring shape as the sweet breads, but it’s simply flavored with some Parmesan cheese and some salt and pepper. It makes a really great side dish for your favorite Easter dinner. Click here to view this recipe!
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