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Italian Braided Easter Bread



Italian braided Easter bread is something that reminds me of my childhood.  My neighbor, Betty would make it every spring and I loved watching her braid the bread.  It was so beautiful and always delicious. 

So here we go, trying to recreate Betty's beautiful bread.

Topping:

3 Colored  Eggs 

Dough Ingredients:

4 Cups Organic Flour
1/2 Teaspoon Himalayan Salt
3/4 Cups Lukewarm Milk
3/4 OZ Yeast
1/4 Cup Grass Fed Butter 
1 Teaspoons Organic Allspice
2 Teaspoons Organic Cinnamon
3 Tablespoons Organic Sugar
2 Free Range Eggs

Glaze:

1 Teaspoon Honey
1 Teaspoon Water
1 Egg Yoke 


Stir flour, allspice, salt and cinnamon into a large bowl. In a jug mix the yeast with milk. In a bowl cream the butter with sugar then beat in eggs. Add the butter mixture to the flour with the yeast mixture and slowly mix to a dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic. 

Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover it with an oiled plastic wrap and leave in a warm place for 2 hours. Knock back the dough and knead for 2-3 minutes. Return to the bowl, re-cover and leave to rise again in a warm place for another 1 hour. 

Knock back and turn onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into three equal parts and roll into a 15-20 inch long rope. Braid them together from the center to the end. Place on the prepared baking sheet and push colored eggs into the loaf. Cover and let rise for an hour. Preheat oven to 375. Mix glaze and brush onto loaf. Bake for 30 - 40 minutes (you can bake for another 10 if needed). It should sound hollow and be golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

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