Your family will love to see this colorful Pane Di Pasqua, or Italian Easter Bread, on your holiday brunch table. It is a classic dish of slightly sweet, braided bread baskets with brightly-colored eggs woven in.
Pane Di Pasqua – Italian Easter Bread Recipe
Easter would not be complete without these little bread baskets of colored eggs being handed out to friends and family. My grandfather passed this tradition on to us, just as his grandmother passed it down to him. Pane Di Pasqua is a beautiful colorful addition to any Easter brunch table, and is quite delicious to eat.
Most bread recipes are time consuming to make, however, they are not actually that difficult. The bulk of the preparation time with this Italian Easter Bread is allowing the dough to rise. Once the dough is ready, you simply form the dough into braids or baskets, place the egg on top, baste with egg wash, and bake. Within minutes your home smells of fresh baked bread toasting in the oven.
Many may say that this Pane Di Pasqua is too pretty to eat, but don’t be fooled. The bread tastes just as good as it looks. With a slab of butter and a dollop of strawberry jam, this slightly sweet soft bread will be the highlight of your Easter brunch.
- 5 uncooked eggs, colored
- ¾ cup whole milk, warmed, but not hot
- 2 ¼ tsp active dry yeast
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- In the bowl of your electric mixer, or a large bowl, combine warm milk and yeast. Let sit for 5 minutes.
- Add egg, sugar, salt, and 1 cup of flour to the yeast mixture. Mix until combined.
- Add butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until combined.
- Add remaining flour. Knead until mixture forms a ball and no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl.
- Place dough in a well-greased bowl, cover, and place in a dark spot in your kitchen for 1 hour, or until it has doubled in size.
- Once doubled, punch dough down, and allow to rest for another 15 minutes. Then form the dough baskets.
- For the small baskets, roll out a long (about 18 inches) rope of dough about 2 inches thick.
- Fold dough in half and twist.
- Circle together so that both ends meet and form a round, pinch together.
- Place no more than 4 on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and space them out.
- For the large braid, roll out 3 18-inch long ropes of dough, place on parchment lined baking sheet.
- Pinch the three ropes together at the end, then braid the dough gently.
- Cover the small rounds or large braid, and allow to rise for 45 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375ºF.
- Baste dough with beaten egg and sprinkle with nonpareils. Place colored raw eggs gently in braid or in the middle of round baskets.
- Bake small baskets for about 25 minutes or until golden brown.
- Bake large braid for 35 minutes or until golden brown.
Home Chef Tip: If you are going for an organic look, pick up some brown, naturally blue, or green eggs, and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.
We hope you enjoy this Pane Di Pasqua, or Italian Sweet Bread, recipe from SoFabFood Contributor, Jacqueline from The Seaside Baker, as much as we do. If you love this sweet bread recipe, you can find more like it by visiting our Dessert Section. For more holiday inspiration, take a look at our other Easter recipes to help you get ready for your celebration. For daily recipe inspiration, like us on Facebook and follow us on Pinterest. Enjoy!