Mar 302018
Italian Easter Bread

Happy Easter! I hope you’re having a relaxing weekend eating lots of chocolate and enjoying your Easter traditions: be it egg decorating, egg hunts, baking, or going to church. I’m spending my Saturday going to see Ready Player One with Lucy and her dad. On Sunday we’re having lunch and a bit of a party with Lucy’s family, and I’m very excited for all the food and the Easter eggchange (hehehe).

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A preview of my Spring decor!

I wanted to do a bit of Easter-themed baking this long weekend, but I struggled to find an inspiring recipe. When you look on Pinterest for “Easter baking” the search results are understandably chocolate-centric, but I find them a bit sickly looking. Don’t get me wrong, I love a cream egg, but I’d feel gross if I ate a brownie cake covered in crushed cream eggs and mini eggs β€” too much of a good thing…?

The other recipes that caught my attention were for “Italian Easter Bread”. I thought it was odd that they included coloured boiled eggs (Google it), but I’m sure it has traditional meaning. I decided to give this Easter bread a go, minus the eggs, despite not being Italian nor adept at baking bread.

For other Easter baking ideas, check out my posts on: hot cross buns, daffodil bundt cake, bunny cupcakes, coconut lemon Easter cake, lemon squares, and also see my post on how to portion-control all these Easter treats!

The recipe I settled on is from the blog A Mom’s Take and I liked it because it seemed straightforward. I can say having tested the bread that it’s delicious and tastes like a cross between a cinnamon bun and an iced bun. The end product came out well, but what should have taken under two hours to make turned into a full morning’s undertaking. Here are the problems I had with the recipe:

My main problem (and I noticed other blog readers had a similar issue) is that my dough didn’t rise. My yeast was a bit old so that didn’t help, but it still activated. I tried leaving my dough to rise by the radiator for an hour and it did nothing. Then I tried over the preheating oven, and I finally stuck it in our boiler cupboard where eventually it half rose.

My second issue was that the blog had vague and conflicting instructions. It didn’t say how the butter should be added (I added half melted/half soft and retrospectively, I think it should’ve been melted). It also didn’t specify how to add the eggs (I think these should have been whisked first). Finally, the instructions in print conflicted with their video tutorial. The recipe said to knead for 5 minutes but the video said to knead only for 1 minute. I think I may have overkneaded my bread, so I’d say 1-3 minutes is probably best.

Give the recipe a try to let me know how you get on! I’d also love you to share with me your favourite Easter bakes and traditions!

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Italian Easter Bread

Ingredients:

  • 2.5 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 tsp. active dry yeast
  • 2 tbsp. butter (melted)
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • 1 tsp. salt

For glaze:

  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp. milk
  • sprinkles

Instructions:

Warm your milk in the microwave and when it is lukewarm add the yeast. Let it activate for 5 min.DSCN2766

Add the butter, flour, sugar, and salt, Blend well with an electric mixer.

Add eggs to mixture and blend again until a dough forms.

Drop on to a floured surface and knead 1-3 minutes. Roll into a ball, and place in a bowl with cling film or a damp towel. Set in a warm spot and let rise for 1 hour.

Turn out onto a floured surface and divide into two pieces, rolling them out into thin ropes.

Twist the ropes together and the braid them again to form a log shape (you can also make a ring). Glaze with melted butter.

Bake at 180Β°C for 25 min.

When your bread is mostly cool, make the glaze by whisking the milk and icing sugar together to form a paste. Drizzle on the glaze and decorate with sprinkles!

Italian Easter Bread

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YUM

 

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