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  • Writer's pictureBiagio D

Southern Italian Easter Bread Braid

Updated: May 2, 2020

During Easter as a child, this sweet bread was often found in bulk on the kitchen table. Having moved across the country away from my family, I decided to take a shot at making it myself. My great aunt sent me the recipe for this flakey and flavorful, but not overly sugary treat. I would even recommend making this without the hardboiled eggs and using it as sandwich bread.


Yield: 1 Loaf


Ingredients:

2 packages dry yeast

1/2 cup sugar

6 eggs, hard boiled

1/2 cup warm water

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 egg

1/2 cup butter

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon water

1/4 cup milk

4 cups all-purpose flour


Instructions:

1. In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water and let stand for about 10 minutes.

2. Melt the butter in a small saucepan, add the milk and heat until just warm. Pour this mixture into the large bowl with the yeast.

3. Add the sugar, the 2 beaten eggs and salt, and stir well. Mix in the flour, one cup at a time, until a soft dough is formed.

4. Turn the dough onto a floured surface, adding flour if the dough is too sticky to handle. Knead until dough becomes elastic. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and set in a warm, draft-free area until doubled in size (about 1 hour).

5. Punch down the dough. Divide it into three equal parts and roll each piece into a 20-inch-long strand. Lay the strands side by side and gently braid them. To avoid tearing the dough, braid from the middle out to an end, repeat with the other side. Place the woven dough in a wreath shape on greased cookie sheet, tucking the ends under.

6. Place 6 eggs into the dough. Cover and let rise until double in size. Beat 1 egg with the one-teaspoon of water and brush the wash over the dough (not on the 6 eggs - make sure egg shells are dry otherwise they will brown).

7. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

8. Bake for about 1/2 hour or until golden brown.

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