I love baking with my little monkeys and creating new family traditions. My family has always made this traditional Italian Easter Egg Bread and now I want to pass that tradition on to my boys.
Here is a little History behind the sweet bread. Italian Easter Bread with dyed eggs is a traditional Easter bread dish featuring sweetened bread shaped into a wreath with coloured Easter eggs tucked into it before baking. While still edible, the placement of the dyed eggs in the bread is symbolic rather than culinary. Eggs are a common Easter symbol, not only for their popular use in egg hunts, but more directly for their historical association with fertility and re-birth. Easter celebrates Jesus rising from the dead, and thus, the egg and Easter have been firmly linked. Eggs were also originally forbidden during Lent (the 40 days before Easter), so when the big day came perhaps it was time to enjoy them again with gusto!!
Now for the recipe!
• 1 pkg of traditional yeast mixed with 1/4 cup of warm water
• 1/4 cup of butter
• 6 eggs + about 12 more for dying
• 6-7 cups of flour
• 1 cup of sugar
• 1 cup of milk
• 1 egg beaten+ 1 teaspoon of water mixed for egg wash
Colouring the Eggs
- In a small bowl add the boiling water, food colouring and vinegar. Stir to combine. Place an egg inside a whisk and leave it in the water for about 5 minutes.
- Take the egg out and place it in a paper towel to dry. Do the same with the remaining eggs, adding more food color if needed.
- Mix 6 eggs & sugar in a big mixing bowl, set aside.
- Add about 6-7 cups of flour
- Knead dough for 5 minutes
- Cut dough in half and wrap dough in cloths/blankets and let sit for 1 hour and a half
- Once the the dough is risen, divide it in 8-10 small balls. Shape each ball into a 13-15″ long rope.
- Take two ropes and braid them together, forming a ring by pinching the ends. Do the same with the remaining ropes.
- Place the dough rings onto a parchment paper covered baking sheet, nest a coloured egg in the middle of each one, cover with blankets again and leave to rise for another hour and 30 minutes.
- Brush each loaf with egg wash
- Bake at 350F for approximately 15-20 minutes or until golden brown
- Leave to cool completely. Enjoy!