So this is a tradition I started way back on Easter of 2012. I just feel like holidays seem more like holidays when there is something baking in the oven. After some googling, I found several different recipes and variations of Italian Easter bread. I figured I would throw my own variation into the mix! Oh, I feel like I should disclose that I am not one bit Italian, but Irish Easter Bread just isn’t a thing.
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2/3 cup warm milk
- 2 tbsp. butter, softened + 1 tbsp melted
- 7 eggs
- 3/4 cup sliced almonds
- 1 tsp. anise seed
- olive oil
- Combine 1 cup flour, sugar, yeast and salt in a large mixing bowl. Pour in milk and softened butter. Beat for 2 minutes on medium speed with an electric mixer.
- Stir in 2 eggs and 1/2 cup flour. Beat 2 minutes on high speed. Stir in nuts and anise seed; mix well.
- Add in remaining flour, slowly until a soft dough forms. You don’t have to add all of it.
- Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for 6-8 minutes and place in a bowl coated in olive oil. Turn the dough so it has a thin layer of olive oil all over.
- Let the dough rise, covered with a damp cloth in a warm area for one hour.
- Meanwhile, dye some eggs. I used one of the the kits from the store, but next year I plan on dying them naturally. Enlist some help for this, if necessary! Also, don’t use hardboiled eggs!
- Once the dough has risen, punch it down and cut it in half on a lightly floured surface. Roll each piece out into a two foot rope and then twist them together, loosely, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Form the twisted dough into a circle, kind of like a wreath, then pinch the ends together.
- Gently split the ropes apart, coat the eggs in a thin layer of oil & tuck them into the bread.
- Recover the bread and let rise for 30 minutes longer.
- Bake at 350°F for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan. Brush top of bread with melted butter.
- Let it cool on a wire rack.
All Done! Enjoy!
Recipe was adapted from here.