Easter Bread
It’s going to take a little time, but this Italian Easter Bread recipe is worth every minute. Or, if you don’t have a lot of time and you want to try something a little different, try the Raisin Easter Bread recipe.

Italian Easter Bread Recipe

Ingredients

  • 8 Cups white flour
  • 1 1/2 Cups milk (whole)
  • 1/2 Cup white sugar
  • 2 zested & juiced oranges
  • 4 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
  • 1 Cup melted margarine
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. anise oil
  • 2 Cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 Cup milk (whole)
  • Sprinkles

Directions

  1. Put the flour in a large mixing bowl and put aside.
  2. In a small pan heat 1 1/2 cups milk on low until it is warm, not hot. Stir it as it warms so it will not burn. Remove from heat.
  3. Mix the white sugar and orange zest together in a small bowl.
  4. Stir the sugar/zest mixture into the milk until the sugar dissolves.
  5. Add yeast to the mixture and let it rest for 10 minutes.
  6. Add milk mixture to the flour. Mix it until it forms a shaggy dough.
  7. Add the margarine and mix well. Add the juice from the orange and continue to mix.
  8. In a separate small bowl, mix the eggs, salt, and oil together with a whisk. Add it to the dough and mix.
  9. You may need to add more flour, depending on the amount of juice that came out of your orange. Knead the dough until it becomes soft and elastic, approximately 5 minutes.
  10. Put the dough ball in an oiled bowl. Turn it once to coat. Cover it with plastic wrap. Allow it to rise until it doubles, approximately 1 hour.
  11. Spray 2 baking sheets or line them with parchment paper.
  12. Turn out the dough onto the counter and divide into 4 pieces. Roll each piece out to a 24″ long rope. Take 2 ropes and twist them together. Take the other 2 ropes and twist those together. Take each twist and lay one on each baking sheet, wrapping them around to form 2 circles. Seal the ends together.
  13. Brush the rings of dough with melted butter and cover them with plastic wrap. Allow them to rise until they are doubled, approximately 1 hour.
  14. Preheat the oven to 350°. Bake each twist for 30-40 minutes until they are golden brown. Immediately transfer them to a cooling rack.
  15. When they are cooled, beat the powdered sugar and milk together to form a glaze. Brush it on the tops of the breads. Apply sprinkles.

Raisin Easter Bread Recipe

Ingredients

  • 5 Cups bread flour
  • 1/2 Cup white sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/4 Cups lukewarm milk
  • 1/2 Cup melted butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 Cup raisins
  • 1 Tbsp orange zest
  • 1 Tbsp lemon zest

Directions

  1. Mix 2 Cups of the flour, all the sugar, yeast, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add the milk, butter, and eggs and mix.
  3. Add raisins, orange zest, and lemon zest and mix until well combined.
  4. Mix in enough of the remaining flour to form a soft dough.
  5. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes. If more flour is required, add a little at a time.
  6. Place dough in an oiled bowl and turn once. Cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise for 1 hour.
  7. Punch dough down and knead for about 5 minutes.
  8. Divide dough into 2 parts and shape into 2 loaves. Place loaves in 9×5 loaf pan. Cover and let rise for about 30 more minutes.
  9. Preheat the oven to 350°. Bake for 40 minutes or until you can tap on it and it sounds hollow.
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