|Italian Easter Sweet Bread|
Happy Monday, everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend and enjoyed the nice weather that I think most of us had. I think it's finally really Spring outside! As I type this, I'm sitting at my kitchen counter with my windows open. It's so nice to air the house out! I'm knee deep in laundry and housework today on my day off, but that's ok. I'll get that all done and then my reward will be a nice long walk outside in this beautiful weather.
So yesterday I decided to make Easter bread for the first time. I had been wanting to make this bread for years and just never got around to it. Also for some reason I thought it was going to be a lot more difficult than it was... I have no idea why. But, thanks to Laura Vitale over at Laura in the Kitchen, I saw that it really wasn't all that difficult to make and according to Laura, it tastes so so good! So, I decided to make it myself on Easter morning to share with Mark's family for Easter dinner and thankfully it was a success! I think the finished product is really pretty and fun and I plan to make it every year from now on! The taste and texture is amazing. It's got a sweetness to it and a hint of an orange flavor from the orange zest. The outside is a little crusty and the inside is so light and pillowy. The sprinkles add a little more sweetness on the outside as well.
So thank you so much, Laura Vitale, for showing us all how to make this bread as well as hundreds of other recipes on your YouTube channel! Be sure to check Laura's channel out here and check her blog out here.
To see now to make this bread, check out Laura's video below. I decided to color my eggs, but that was pretty much the only thing I changed. Good luck making your own Easter bread and if you do decide to make it, email me a pic of how yours turned out!
- Yield: 2.00 loafs of bread
Recipe courtesy of Laura Vitale of “Laura in the Kitchen” on YouTube
- ½ cup of Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
- ½ cup of Milk
- 1 Envelope of Yeast (2 1/2 tsp)
- ½ cup of Warm Water, about 110 degrees
- 3 Eggs, at room temperature
- ⅔ cup of Sugar
- 1 tsp of Vanilla Extract
- 1 Tbsp of Orange Zest
- 4½ to 5 cups of All Purpose Flour
- 1 tsp of Salt
- 6 Hard Boiled Eggs (optional)
- Multi-Colored Sprinkles
- 1 Egg, beaten with a little bit of water to make an egg wash
1) In a small saucepan, heat the milk and butter together just until the butter melts, set aside to cool.
2) Add 1 Tbsp of the sugar to the warm water and stir to mix, then sprinkle the yeast over top of the warm sugar and water and set aside for about 5 minutes.
3) In the bowl of a standing mixer with a hand held whisk, mix together the eggs and sugar until combined, add the butter and milk mixture, the yeast and water mixture, the vanilla and orange zest, mix everything together so you have all the wet ingredients well combined.
4) Switch the attachment to a dough hook and add in 4/12 cups of the flour and the salt, mix until a soft dough forms. Gradually add a little more flour (1/4 to ½ cup ) to make a nice smooth but slightly sticky dough.
6) Lightly grease a large bowl with some vegetable oil, place the ball of dough in the oiled bowl and brush a tiny bit of oil over the top as well. Cover with plastic wrap and place it in a warm spot and let it rise for about 1-1/2 hours or until it has doubled in volume.
10) Lift the braid onto the prepared baking sheet and pinch the ends to seal so now you have a circle. Place 3 eggs in each circle lengthwise, tucking them between the ropes.
12) Cover with plastic wrap and place them somewhere warm for 45 minutes or until doubled in size.
13) Brush the tops with the egg wash and sprinkle over some sprinkles, bake them at 350 degress for 30 minutes or until golden, making sure to rotate the baking sheets half way though for even baking.
14) Let them cool completely and then slice and serve.