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Italian Easter Bread

A beautiful centerpiece for your Easter celebration!

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This recipe makes 4 breads
Ingredients
Milk3/4 cup
Butter (cool, cut in small pieces)1/4 cup
Eggs (room temperature)2 large
Bread Flour3 cups
Sugar3 TBSP
Salt1/2 tsp
Grated lemon peel or crushed anise seed1 tsp
Active Dry Yeast2+1/4 tsp
Decorations
Colored eggs, raw4 large
Colored confetti sprinkles2 tsp
Egg Wash
Egg1 large, beaten
Water1 tsp
Directions
Bread Machine Method

Place ingredients in the pan in the order listed. Select the dough/manual cycle. At the end of the program, press clear/stop. To punch the dough down, press start and let knead for 60 seconds. Press clear/stop again. Remove the dough and let rest 5 minutes before hand shaping.  See Shaping and Baking instructions below.

 

Mixer Methods

Combine yeast, 1 cup flour and other dry ingredients. Heat milk to 120° to 130° F.

 

Hand-Held Mixer Method 

Combine dry mixture, milk, and butter in mixing bowl on low speed. Beat 2 to 3 minutes on medium speed. Add eggs; beat 1 minute. By hand, stir in enough remaining flour to make a firm dough. Knead on floured surface 5 to 7 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Use additional bread flour if necessary. Place dough in lightly oiled bowl and turn to grease top. Cover; let rise until dough tests ripe.

 

Stand Mixer Method

Combine dry mixture, milk, and butter in mixing bowl with paddle or beaters for 4 minutes on medium speed. Add eggs; beat 1 minute. Gradually add remaining flour and knead with dough hook(s) 5 to 7 minutes until smooth and elastic. Place dough in lightly oiled bowl and turn to grease top. Cover; let rise until dough tests ripe.

 

Food Processor Method 

Put dry mixture in processing bowl with steel blade. While motor is running, add eggs, milk, and butter. Process until mixed. Continue processing adding remaining bread flour until dough forms a ball. Place dough in lightly oiled bowl and turn to grease top. Cover; let rise until dough tests ripe.

 

Shaping and Baking

Lightly sprinkle work surface with flour. Divide dough into four equal pieces. Roll each piece of dough into a 12-inch long rope. Wrap each rope around a colored egg. Cross the ends. Pinch together, and cut off any excess dough. Place on lightly greased baking pans. Cover with a clean kitchen cloth and let rise until indentation remains after lightly touching the side of the bread, about 1 to 1½ hours.

 

Preheat oven to 375°F. Brush bread with egg wash taking care not to get any on the eggs. Sprinkle with confettini sprinkles. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until a deep golden brown.

 

 

Recipe adapted by RED STAR Yeast from The Ultimate Bread Machine Cookbook by Tom Lacalamita.
 

 

*You can substitute Instant (fast-rising) yeast in place of Active Dry Yeast. When using Instant Yeast, expect your dough to rise faster. Always let your dough rise until ripe. Traditional methods: use equal amounts; Bread Machine: use 1/2 tsp Instant Yeast OR 3/4 tsp Active Dry Yeast per cup of flour in your recipe. Visit our Lessons in Yeast & Baking for more information.

 

Nutritional Information (Per Serving/ Medium recipe):
Servings per recipe: 4; Calories: 660; Total Fat: 23g; Saturated Fat: 11g; Cholesterol: 405mg; Sodium: 440mg; Total Carbohydrates: 88g; Dietary Fiber: 3g; Sugars: 13g;  Protein: 26g
 

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