Italian Easter Bread

Italian Easter Bread

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Bringing together the essence of tradition and the warmth of family gatherings, this classic Italian Easter Bread is a cherished recipe passed down through generations. Infused with the vibrant flavors of orange zest and the delicate essence of anise, this bread is a celebration of springtime and renewal. Here’s how to create this culinary masterpiece in your own kitchen.

Ingredients needed:

8 cups of all-purpose flour

1½ cups of whole milk

½ cup of granulated sugar

Zest and juice of 2 oranges

4½ teaspoons of active dry yeast

1 cup of melted margarine

8 eggs

1 teaspoon of salt

½ teaspoon of anise oil

2 tablespoons of melted unsalted butter (for brushing)

How To Make:

Preparing the Dough:

Begin by placing the flour in a large mixing bowl, setting it aside for later use. Warm the milk in a small saucepan over low heat until it’s comfortably warm to the touch but not hot.

In a separate bowl, combine the sugar with the orange zest, blending them together until the sugar is moistened and infused with the citrusy aroma.

Once the milk reaches the desired temperature, stir in the sugar and zest mixture, ensuring the sugar is completely dissolved. Add the yeast, stir, and allow it to sit for 10 minutes until frothy.

Incorporate the milk and yeast mixture into the flour, forming a shaggy dough. Add the melted margarine and orange juice to the mixture, continuing to blend until combined.

In a separate bowl, lightly beat together the eggs, salt, and anise oil. Add this mixture to the dough, stirring until fully incorporated.

Adjust the dough consistency by gradually adding more flour if needed, kneading on a floured surface for about 5 minutes until soft and elastic. The dough should remain slightly tacky.

Place the dough in an oiled bowl, covering it loosely with plastic wrap. Let it rise in a draft-free area until doubled in volume, approximately 1 hour.

Shaping the Bread:

Once the dough has risen, divide it into two portions. Further divide each half into two pieces, resulting in four equal parts.

Roll each portion into a 24-inch long rope. Twist two ropes together loosely, forming a braided pattern. Shape the braided dough into a ring, pinching the ends to seal. Repeat with the remaining dough to form two circular loaves.

Brush the tops of each loaf with melted butter, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and allow them to rise again until nearly doubled in size, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Baking and Glazing:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F while the bread rises. Bake each loaf individually until golden brown, typically taking 30 to 40 minutes.

Once baked, transfer the loaves to a cooling rack to cool completely.

For the glaze, whisk together powdered sugar and milk until smooth. Brush the glaze over the cooled loaves and decorate with sprinkles if desired.

Serve the bread at room temperature, and store any leftovers wrapped in plastic wrap at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Italian Easter Bread

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Course: BreadCuisine: Italian


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Simple Italian Easter Bread Recipe:


  • For the Dough:
    8 cups (1 kg) all-purpose flour
    1½ cups (366 ml) whole milk
    ½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar
    Zest and juice of 2 oranges
    4½ teaspoons (2 envelopes) active dry yeast
    1 cup (227 g) melted margarine
    8 eggs
    1 teaspoon salt
    ½ teaspoon anise oil
    2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter (for brushing)

  • For the Glaze:
    2 cups (240 g) powdered sugar
    ¼ cup (61 ml) whole milk
    Sprinkles (optional)


  • Make the Dough:
    Place flour in a large mixing bowl.
    Warm milk in a saucepan, then add sugar and orange zest.
    Stir in yeast and let it sit for 10 minutes.
    Combine milk mixture with flour, melted margarine, orange juice, and beaten eggs.
    Knead until soft and elastic, then let rise until doubled.
  • Shape the Bread:
    Divide dough and shape into braids, forming two circular loaves.
    Let rise again until nearly doubled.
  • Bake and Glaze:
    Preheat oven to 350°F and bake loaves until golden brown.
    Whisk powdered sugar and milk for the glaze, then brush over cooled loaves.
    Decorate with sprinkles if desired.
  • Serve:
    Serve at room temperature and store leftovers wrapped in plastic wrap.

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories: 327kcal
  • Protein: 7g
  • Fat: 11g
  • Cholesterol: 58mg
  • Sodium: 216mg
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Sugar: 16g
  • Calcium: 42mg

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