Sunday, March 31, 2013

Italian Easter Bread

By: The Food Hunter

Our family breakfast tradition on Easter is Italian Easter Bread.  Growing up in Philadelphia it was sold in all the neighborhood bakeries and you could buy it with eggs or without.  Not the case here in Phoenix. Yes, you can find it here but it's not so readily available.  So what does one do when she calls herself "the food hunter" and doesn't want family traditions to stop just because of where she lives?  She makes her own of course.

 Happy Easter!

Getting ready to go into the oven

Italian Easter Bread
1 cup milk
2 1/4 ounce packets active dry yeast
1tsp vanilla
1 tsp anise
1/2 cup sugar
4 1/2 cups flour
Zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp salt
1 stick butter cut into 1 inch pieces

Just out of the oven

Egg wash
1 egg
1 tbs water

In a small saucepan heat the milk over medium to 110 F. Add the yeast to a small bowl with the warm milk and whisk it  with 1 tablespoon of the sugar. Let sit until foamy (about 5 minutes).

Whisk in the eggs, anise and vanilla; set aside.

In a large bowl whisk together the rest of the sugar, flour, lemon zest, and salt.

Pour the flour mixture in the bowl of a mixer. With dough hook attached and mixer on medium speed, slowly add the milk .

Add the butter 1 tablespoon at a time and let it get gently incorporated into the dough. 

Be sure to mix well when all the butter is added (about 3-5 minutes). Adding more flour until your dough is stiff  not sticky. 

Put a little flour on the counter and scrape the dough out of mixer. Knead the dough a little and shape the dough into a ball.

Oil a large glass bowl and place the dough in there too rest. Rub a little oil on top of the dough and cover for about 1-1 1/2 hours.

Punch down the dough.

Divide the dough into 3 portions. Roll each portion into a strip about 15" long. Pinch the ends and start the can leave as a long braid or pinch ends together to form a wreath.

Cover with a kitchen towel and let rest 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 350.

When ready to bake brush dough with egg wash and add sprinkles. Place on a parchment lined baked pan and bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden in color.  Let cool on rack before slicing.


  1. Your Easter bread looks amazing! I would imagine it tastes fabulous! I love the sprinkles on top!!

  2. That looks amazing I agree!!!!!!! It reminds me of grandmom's <3