Are you getting your Easter menu together? Make room for this beautiful Easter Bread with colored eggs recipe provided by Chef Sal Scognamillo of Patsy’s Italian Restaurant in New York City. The Scognamillo family has owned and operated this popular Italian restaurant since 1944.
This whimsical bread’s eggs are decorative only. They can be hardboiled or colored raw and then placed in the dough. The slightly sweet bread with sugar sprinkles is loved by kids and adults and makes a beautiful centerpiece for your Easter Brunch, Lunch, or Dinner (add a large ribbon and lace doilies for even sweeter Easter decor).
- SWEET DOUGH
- 1 c whole milk
- ½ c sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 Tbl instant yeast (also called bread machine yeast)
- Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- 2 tsp anise seeds
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- 5 c unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
- 6 Tbl (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons, at room temperature, plus additional softened butter for the bowl
- 6 colored eggs (see note below)
- 1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tsp whole milk, for glaze
- 2 teaspoons nonpareils (colored sugar decorations) for garnish
- To make the sweet dough: combine the milk, sugar, eggs, yeast, lemon zest, anise seeds, and salt together in the bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer (see below for making this without a mixer). Mix with the paddle attachment on low speed until combined. Gradually add 3 ½ cups of the flour to make a thick batter. One tablespoon at a time, beat in the butter, waiting for the first addition to be absorbed before adding more. Gradually add enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough that cleans the bowl. Switch to the dough hook and mix on medium-low speed, occasionally pulling down the dough as it climbs up the
hook,until the dough is smooth, shiny, and slightly sticky (do not add too much flour), about 8 minutes.
- (If you don't have a mixer, you can make the dough by hand: whisk the milk, sugar, eggs, yeast, lemon zest, anise seeds, and salt together in a large bowl. Gradually stir in 3 ½ cups of the flour to make a thick batter. One tablespoon at a time, stir in the butter, waiting for the first addition to be absorbed before adding more. Gradually stir in enough of the remaining flour to make a dough that cannot be stirred. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead, adding more flour as necessary, until the dough is smooth, supple, and slightly sticky (do not add too much flour), about 10 minutes.)
- Butter a large bowl. Gather the dough into a ball. Turn the dough in the bowl to coat it, leaving the dough smooth and buttered side up. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 ¼ hours. (Or refrigerate the dough for at least 8 and up to 24 hours.)
- Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone liner. Divide the dough into thirds. Roll each piece of dough underneath your palms on the work surface into a 20-inch rope which tapers to the ends. Line the ropes up next to each other and starting from the center, braid the rope to the end and then repeat from the center to the other end. Pinch the rope ends together to shape it into a tapered loaf. Transfer the braid to the parchment paper-lined baking sheet and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let stand in a warm and draft-free place until almost doubled in volume, which should take about 1 hour (or about 1 ½ hours for chilled dough). During the last 15 minutes of rising, distribute the colored eggs evenly over the top of the braid, nesting them in the seams.
- Preheat the oven to 350⁰F
- Brush the braid lightly with the egg glaze and sprinkle with the nonpareils. Bake until the loaf is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom, about 30 minutes. Let cool completely before slicing.
- Note: Eggs can be hard boiled or raw. To color the eggs, you can use a commercial coloring set, or make your own coloring dip. For each color, combine 1 ½ cups boiling water and 1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar in a large glass. Tint the liquid as desired with food coloring gel (which has deeper colors than liquid coloring, although you can use liquid). Dip each egg in the coloring mixture, and let stand for at least 2 minutes, or until the desired color is reached. Remove the egg from the coloring mixture and let dry on a wire cooling rack set over a baking sheet.
Do you have a favorite Easter Bread recipe?
This is perfect for the occasion. The kids will love it and it will be a lot of fun to engage them in the kitchen.
This is such a cute idea, especially for Easter! Love this idea! Thanks for sharing.
Patsy’s is my home away from home. When I miss my Nona’s cooking, only one place can compare. They are wonderful people who have become like family and I will be a fan for life.
What a fun idea for making something unique for Easter. I know this would be a big hit here.
That is so pretty! I tell you what, I would be the talk of the church if I brought that on Easter Sunday. 😉 ha!
I love freshly baked bread! It brings back so many memories of growing up, hearty food and fresh baked breads. I will make some bread this Easter, and I will use the recipe you posted. My family would love it for sure!
This is such a great idea! Adding this to our Easter menu!
My Nonni used to make sweet bread and we don’t have her recipe so I’m trying this to see if it’s close- I’m hoping! I love these types of recipes for the holidays!
wow this looks amazing & what a festive & colorful looking bread to have on the table for Easter brunch – everyone would love this.
That sounds really good. I love a lot of the recipes that are around Easter. They usually involve eggs like this. I love eggs.
It sounds like a lovely bread to have for Easter. This is my first time hearing about this bread. I sure would love to give it a try.
OH wow, that is so beautiful! I will be hosting this Easter so I need to save this recipe.
That is fully awesome! I have never seen anything like this before. I have to try making it. It looks like a My Little Pony got into the kitchen.
I’ve never seen anything like this before. I would love to try that stuff. It’s got a festive look, and bread is always good!
This is the coolest Easter recipe I’ve ever seen! I have NEVER seen anything like this before. I can’t wait to give it a try.
I love these breads. Mine never turn out to look quite that festive but they’re always welcome on our Easter Table.
I’ve never seen the Easter bread before, but they’re stunning! I’d love to make one to have on our Easter table when the family comes to dinner. I want to try this recipe with the kids and make some memories with them.
I always loves these breads – they look so festive! It almost looks to pretty to eat, but I said ALMOST. This will be a great recipe to try with the kids for Easter.
This is so awesome! I never would have thought to do anything like this for Easter.
Although I don’t celebrate Easter, I’ve always been curious about the Easter bread. I love all the colors and how it incorporates eggs into the shape.
I’ve always wanted to make this bread but I’ve never tried it! Maybe this year will be the year.
Ohhh wow! Not only does it look so tasty, but it’s so pretty too. What a lovely Easter treat!
Such a shame they are decorative only….maybe coloring peeled eggs would be an option? Not sure on the taste of an egg yolk and bread texture ..might be too much! They certainly are absolutely beautiful to look at!
I love bread. It’s a must in my diet. Thanks for sharing this Easter Bread with Colored Eggs Recipe! So yummy and awesome! Love it!
How pretty! My ex-boyfriend’s mom always made this for Easter, but never quite as long or elaborate as this one. It’s such a festive way to add a little Easter fun to the table.
I’ve always wanted to make one of these!!! I have never seen one in this shape before. It is just beautiful! Thank you for the great recipe!