Easter bread is a tradition of Mediterranean cultures, so you’ll find this delicacy in many Italian-American and Greek-American households on Easter weekend. Hey, your neighbors in your apartment community may even have a slice to spare! What is Easter Bread, exactly? Well, it’s a sweetened, yeasted dough with colored eggs baked right into the dough. While you don’t eat the eggs, there’s plenty of carbs to enjoy, and this recipe even includes some festive sprinkles on top – although, they are completely optional. You can serve this bread in the morning at your Easter brunch or alongside carrot cake cupcakes for dessert!
For the bread
• Cooking spray
• 1 cup lukewarm milk
• 1/2 cup, plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar, divided
• 2 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
• 4 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
• 2 teaspoons kosher salt
• 2 large eggs
• 1/2 cup butter, softened and cut into cubes
• Egg wash, for brushing
• Sprinkles, for topping
For the eggs
• 4 large eggs
• 1 cup boiling water, divided
• 2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar, divided
• Food coloring
1. Grease a large bowl with cooking spray. In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, add milk and 1 teaspoon sugar and sprinkle yeast on top. Let sit until frothy, about 8 minutes.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine flour, remaining ½ cup sugar, and salt. Add milk-and-yeast mixture and eggs. Mix until a very soft dough forms, about 5 minutes. Increase to medium-high speed and add in butter a tablespoon at a time, mixing well after each addition, until dough pulls away from sides of the bowl, about 15 minutes.
3. Transfer dough to a greased bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
4. Meanwhile, make hard-boiled eggs. Place eggs in a medium pot and cover with water. Over medium heat, bring to a boil. Cover and turn off the heat. Let sit for 11 minutes, then remove from pan and dunk in ice water.
5. Divide 1 cup boiling water between 2 bowls. Add 1 teaspoon vinegar and desired food coloring to each bowl. Add one egg at a time and let sit 5 to 10 minutes, depending on preferred color. Use a slotted spoon to remove from the bowl and let dry on a wire rack fitted over a baking sheet.
6. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F, and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, divide the dough into 3 equal parts. Roll each piece into a 16-inch long rope. Place ropes side by side lengthwise on the prepared baking sheet. Pinch top ends together, then tightly braid ropes together. Bring ends together to form a circle and pinch together.
7. Press dyed eggs into a braid, then cover the dough and let rise until doubled for about 30 minutes.
8. Brush with egg wash and top with sprinkles. Bake until golden, 30 minutes.
Mix-up something scrumptious tonight with this special recipe provided to you by The Westport Apartments in Norfolk, Virginia, and put our updated, fully equipped kitchens to good use!