Sunday, April 22, 2012

Italian Easter Bread

I have been wanting to try and make Easter Bread Nests ever since seeing the yummy recipe Charlotte shared a couple years ago. Once again I wasn't able to find the time to make them for Easter morning, but since one of the symbols for the second week of Easter using The Garden of the Good Shepherd : A Sticker Calendar to Count the 50 days of Easter is "bread" I figured this week's Good Shepherd's Garden Party would be the perfect opportunity!

Instead of using the recipe in the archives (which we do love and bake each year on Santa Lucia Day), my oldest daughter and I ended up making the Italian Easter Bread from The Italian Dish.  The bread ended up being much easier to make than I expected and turned out beautifully!  It bakes up incredibly soft and sweet, and reminded my children of the Portuguese sweet rolls they enjoy at our local St. Anthony's Festa each year.  We will be making these again, for sure!

Italian Easter Bread

  • 1 package (2 1/4 ) teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 1/4 cups warm milk
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 cups flour (I actually ended up using 5 cups)
  • 1 egg, beaten with 1 teaspoon of water
  • 6 dyed, uncooked, Easter eggs (will cook in the oven)
  • sprinkles


In a large mixing bowl, mix together the yeast, milk, salt, butter, eggs and sugar. Add 2 cups of flour and mix until smooth. With the mixer set to a low speed and switching to the dough hook attachment (or by hand), continue adding flour until the dough is no longer sticky. Knead until smooth. Transfer to an oiled bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled, about 1 hour.

Punch down the dough and divide into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a 1-inch by 14-inch rope.

Taking two pieces, twist to form a "braid," then join the ends to loop into a circle, pinching the tips together.

Place on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat with remaining dough. Cover with a clean towel and let rise again until nearly doubled, about 1 more hour.  (We accidentally skipped this second rise, but they still turned out okay... The eggs just didn't stick out as well.) 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Brush each dough "nest" with the beaten egg wash.

Decorate with the sprinkles.

In the middle of each bread ring, gently place an Easter egg, making an indentation with the egg. Place one egg in the center of each nest, pressing down lightly to secure.

Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

Note: Be sure to either refrigerate or discard the eggs, if not eaten within a couple hours.

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  1. Those are beautiful! I think my girls might like to make some once they feel a little better and once they see these!

  2. They were on our list this year too but we didn't get there either. We ended up making our Ukrainian Easter Bread with plain colored eggs baked into it.

  3. I made this bread this year as well. It was delicious!

  4. You are amazing! I think the bread and eggs will be on our to do list this week.

  5. I just made this bread this morning, it came out perfect!

    I found your blog last week and absolutely love it! My family and I are really look forward to using all these recipes throughout the year to celebrate the faith!

  6. We use hard boiled eggs and add anise seed and anise flavoring - but maybe that's just us Sicilians. :)

  7. The name of this " cake " in my town is " Cuzzupa " and it's a traditional food . Your Cuzzupa look very well ! Bye Bye

  8. Do you have to add the colored eggs?

  9. Your note mentioned to discard or refrigerate eggs if not eaten in a couple of hours. I was hoping to make this for Easter morning, however, I was going to make this on good Friday originally (simply because of time restraints and conflicting schedules) - is this a bad idea? I do not mind waking up earlier to make the bread.

  10. Do you cook the eggs first or do they go raw into the oven?