How to Make Italian Easter Bread – Sweet, Light, and Fluffy
I’m excited to share one of my mom’s favorite holiday recipes for Italian Easter Bread. We looked forward to this delicious bread on our Easter dinner table every year.
You can also make this recipe as a braided bread any time of the year—just leave out the Easter eggs! Everyone will enjoy this light sweet bread.
*Affiliates note: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. My videos and blog posts may contain affiliate links to products and services. If you click through and make a purchase, I’ll receive a small commission. It does not affect the price you pay.
What is Italian Easter Bread?
If you have never had an Italian Easter Bread, it is similar in taste and texture to a Panettone, another type of Italian sweet bread. Panettones with their candied fruits are often enjoyed during the Christmas holiday season. However, instead of citron, Italian Easter Bread includes colored Easter eggs.
You’ll find Italian Easter Bread’s light and fluffy texture so pleasing. Along with a hint of sweetness and the crunchy sprinkles, this holiday bread is one of my favorites!
Making Italian Easter Bread
If you have never made a savory or sweet bread before, don’t worry! I walk you through the entire process step-by-step in my recipe video.
If you are familiar with my other cooking videos, you know that I cater to the beginning cook or baker. I am so happy to help you learn these skills, so you can have them and go on to teach others, especially the budding young cooks in your family. Together, we will be able to preserve these wonderful home cooking skills for future generations!
How to Serve an Italian Easter Bread
You don’t have to save your Italian Easter Bread for dessert. Even though it leans on the sweeter side, you can enjoy this bread with your main Easter dinner meal. The whole eggs that are cooked in the bread are a treat for children or anyone young at heart who may be at your table.
Slice the bread in hearty wedges, similar to how you might slice a bunt cake. You can serve butter on the side, but besides being light and sweet, this bread is also rich in butter. Yum!
A Recipe for Good Friday
Before celebrating Easter and serving an Italian Easter Bread, try making and serving these delightful hot cross buns on Good Friday.
Hot Cross Buns are a wonderful treat with your Good Friday dinner after breaking your day-long fast. My mom served these buns with a good dose of sweet icing on top in the traditional design of a cross. And that’s how it got its name, Hot Cross Buns! 😊
Download Your Free 36-Page Pantry List
To streamline your transition from a processed foods kitchen to a traditional foods kitchen, I have an extensive list of the traditional foods you can make and purchase to stock your pantry. You can get this list by downloading my free 36-page Traditional Foods Pantry List. This comprehensive eBook is full of links to recipe videos, helpful articles, and more!
Kitchen Academy Videos
Are you looking for more traditional foods videos? I invite you to join the Traditional Foods Kitchen Academy. Members of this optional paid YouTube community get access to exclusive videos, live streams, and other members-only perks.
In the following members-only video, I talk about the Traditional Foods Journals You Need to Read.
Stay in Touch with Mary’s Nest
Subscribe to My YouTube Channel for Traditional Foods Videos (Free) -
When you subscribe, be sure to click on the notification bell that will let you know each time I upload a new video.
Subscribe to Mary’s Traditional Foods Newsletter (Free) -
Get a free eBook for signing up: How to Stock Your Essential Traditional Foods Four-Corners Pantry.
- Join the Traditional Foods Kitchen Academy (Optional Paid) - For more detailed videos, live streams, and exclusive members-only perks, join my YouTube membership community.
I look forward to having you join me in my Texas Hill Country Kitchen!Love,
Trending Posts on Mary’s Nest
Italian Easter Bread
- 1 Large bowl
- 1 Whisk
- 1 Large spoon or Danish dough whisk
- 1 Electric stand mixer with whisk and dough hook optional
- 1/2 cup Water, warm 110°F
- 1 tbsp Sugar This is for the yeast.
- 2 1/4 tsp Active dry yeast Or one packet of active dry yeast.
- 1 tsp Vanilla extract Almond extract can be substituted.
- 3 large Eggs, raw
- 1 stick Butter, unsalted and softened to room temperature This is equal to a half cup of butter
- 1/2 cup Milk, preferably whole
- 2/3 cup Sugar
- 4 1/2 – 5 cups Flour, preferably white whole wheat flour You can substitute all-purpose or bread flour.
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Olive oil
- 3 large Eggs, raw and colored These are for inserting into the braided bread as decorations before baking. The eggs will cook as the bread bakes.
- 1 large Egg This is an additional egg that will be for the "wash."
- 1 tbsp Water This is additional water for the "wash".
- 1 tbsp Rainbow nonpareils sprinkles
- Add 1 tablespoon of sugar into the 1/2 cup of water and stir. Add the yeast, and stir. Set aside for 5 minutes until the mixture is frothy.
- In a large bowl, whisk the 3 raw eggs with 2/3 cup sugar until light and frothy. You can whisk by hand or use an electric mixer. This process takes approximately 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Add butter and vanilla to the bowl and whisk until thoroughly mixed., You can whisk by hand or use an electric mixer. This process takes approximately 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Using a wooden spoon or Danish dough whisk, begin adding flour to the bowl, 1 cup at a time until the flour is completely incorporated with the wet mixture and dough begins to form. (If you are using a stand mixer, remove the whisk attachment and switch to the dough hook.)
- Continue adding one cup of flour at a time to the bowl until the dough easily pulls away from the sides and does not stick to your fingers when touched.
- Add salt and knead the dough for 10 minutes by hand or 5 minutes by machine.
- Remove the dough from the bowl and grease the bowl with a bit of olive oil.
- Return the dough to the greased bowl and turn the dough over a few times in the bowl until it is fully greased.
- Cover the bowl and place it in a warm place to allow the dough to rise for one hour or until it doubles in bulk.
- After one hour, punch down the dough and transfer it to a floured surface. Cut the dough into four even pieces.
- Roll out each piece into a 20" long strip.
- Braid two pieces together and set aside on a floured surface.
- Braid additional two pieces together and set aside on a floured surface.
- Cover both braids and allow them to rise for 45 minutes.
- After 45 minutes, take each braid and join them together into a circle. Transfer the circled braid to a parchment-lined or greased baking sheet. (See video.)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Nestle the 3 colored raw eggs evenly spaced in the circled braid. (See video.)
- Whisk together 1 egg and 1 tablespoon of water in a small bowl. Using a pastry brush or the back of a spoon, coat the braid with the egg "wash." Do not coat the colored eggs with the wash, only the braid. Once the braid is coated, shake the sprinkles over the braid.
- Place the baking sheet with the circled braid on the middle rack of the preheated oven. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
- Remove the cooked circled braid from the oven and transfer it to a cooling rack.
- After cooling, serve and enjoy!
- Italian Easter Bread is best eaten the same day it is made. But if you decide to make it a day in advance, wrap it well and keep it at room temperature.
- If you have any leftovers, wrap well and refrigerate. The bread will stay fresh for 3-4 days. Before serving, uncover the bread and bring it up to room temperature. You can also freeze the bread for 2-3 months, if wrapped well. As with refrigerated bread, allow the frozen bread to come up to room temperature, uncovered, before serving.
Shop for items used in this blog post or video
Favorite Kitchen Supplies
- Favorite Aprons
- Silica Gel Packets (Helps keep moisture from building up in your mix)
- Cast Iron Dutch Oven
- 8-Quart Slow-Cooker
- Fat Separator (Clever kitchen device to help you decant bone broth)
- Flour Sack Towels
More Kitchen Supplies with Discount Codes
- Mockmill Grain Grinder (for making homemade flour)
Use my Mockmill affiliate link for a special one-time 5% discount on Mockmill Stone Grain Mill products, including Ancient Grains, like Einkorn, Emmer, and Spelt. (The Mockmill discount will appear when you checkout.)
Use promo code MARYSNST for a one-time 15% off Masontops and Breadsmart products on Amazon.com.
Amazon Shop and Shopping Guide
- Visit Mary’s Nest Amazon Shop
- Visit my Shopping Guide page
Learn where I buy my beef bones, electric grain mills, sprouted grains, and more…and get special discounts for Mary’s Nest visitors, including from US Wellness Meats, Mockmill, Masontops, and Cultures for Health.
**Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor, a medical professional, a dietician, or a nutritionist. All content found on the MarysNest.com website, including text, images, videos, eBooks or eGuides, social media, or other formats, were created solely for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or proper nutritional advice. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have watched in a video or read on this website. Use caution when following the recipe in this video. The creator and publisher of this video and website will not be held responsible for any adverse effects that may arise from the use of this recipe and method or any other recipe and method on this website or corresponding video channel.