How to Make Sweet Easter Bread With Colored Eggs

This pretty, colorful loaf looks like it was made by a bakery but it's surprisingly easy to pull off at home.

Similar Topics:

This sweet and fluffy bread is a beautiful centerpiece for your Easter table. Made with milk and sugar and flavored with lemon zest and anise, this traditional, braided loaf is nothing short of spring perfection. Colorful dyed eggs tucked into the soft dough top off this gorgeous Italian quick bread.

Easter Bread

Easter Bread

Photo by: Recipe: Chef Sal Scognamillo | Photo: Patsy's Italian Family Cookbook

Recipe: Chef Sal Scognamillo | Photo: Patsy's Italian Family Cookbook

Sounds amazing, right? With Easter just around the corner, we couldn't keep this recipe to ourselves. Sal Scognamillo, chef and co-owner of Patsy's Italian Restaurant in New York, shares his take on the traditional recipe — straight from Patsy's Italian Family Cookbook. (That's family recipes straight from the restaurant!) Now, dive in.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast
  • finely-grated zest 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons anise seeds
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, as needed
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons, at room temperature, plus softened butter for the bowl
  • 6 dyed eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 teaspoon whole milk, for glaze
  • 2 teaspoons nonpareils, for garnish

Instructions

Makes 1 large loaf — approximately 10 servings

1. Combine the milk, sugar, eggs, yeast, lemon zest, anise seeds and salt in the bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer. Mix with the paddle attachment on low speed until combined.

2. Gradually add 3-1/2 cups of flour to make a thick batter.

3. One tablespoon at a time, beat in the butter, waiting for the first addition to be absorbed before adding more.

4. Gradually add enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough that cleans the bowl.

5. Switch to the dough hook and mix on medium-low speed (about 8 minutes), occasionally pulling down the dough as it climbs up the hook until it's smooth, shiny and slightly sticky.

6. Butter a large bowl, then gather the dough into a ball. Turn the dough in the bowl to coat it, leaving the dough smooth side up. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1-1/4 hours. (Or refrigerate the dough for at least 8 and up to 24 hours.)

7. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

8. Divide the dough into thirds. Roll each piece of dough underneath your palms into a 20-inch rope, tapering the ends. Line up the ropes next to each other. Starting from the center, braid the ropes to each end, pinching the rope ends together to shape into a tapered loaf.

9. Transfer the braid to the parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let stand in a warm draft-free place until almost doubled in volume, about 1 hour (or about 1-1/2 hours for chilled dough).

10. During the last 15 minutes of rising, distribute the eggs evenly over the top of the braid, nesting them in the seams.

11. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Brush the braid lightly with the egg glaze and sprinkle with nonpareils. Bake until the loaf is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom, about 30 minutes. Let cool completely before slicing.

Dying the Eggs

To color eggs for this recipe, you can use a commercial coloring set or make your own coloring dip.

1. For each color, combine 1-1/2 cups boiling water and 1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar in a large glass.

2. Tint the liquid with food coloring gel, which has deeper colors than liquid coloring, although you can use liquid.

3. Dip each egg in the coloring mixture.

4. Let stand for at least 2 minutes or until the desired color is reached.

5. Remove the egg from the coloring mixture and let dry on a wire cooling rack set over a baking sheet.

55 Delicious Easter Recipes

See All Photos

Carrot Chocolate Pudding Cup

Pink Snowball Cake

Royal Icing Bird Nest

Mini Hot Cross Buns

Photo By: Evin Photography

Melon Cups

Lemon Cupcakes

Brunch Flatbread

Carrot Cake Cookies

Pink Snowball Cakelettes

Three Ways to Make Deviled Eggs

Chocolate Coconut Candy

From: Chrissy Barua

Strawberry Strata

Hatching Chick Egg

Easter Egg Macaroons

Salmon Lollipops

Spring Flower Lollipops

Lemon Pots de Creme

Spring-Inspired Petit Fours

Grilled Citrus Herb Branzino

Naked Rainbow Layer Cake

Photo By: Abigail Barnes

Cherry Peeps Cocktail for Easter

Bird's Nest Cookies

Ham and Cheese Quiche

Colorful Deviled Eggs

Grilled Peach and Brandy Popsicle

Key Lime Cake

Chocolate Strawberry Shortcakes

Parmesan and Leek Sourdough Stuffing

Brown Sugar Glazed Ham

From: Courtney Whitmore

Photo By: Evin Photography

Cheesecake Cones

Carrot Crispy Rice Treats

Photo By: Jason Kisner

Blueberry Scones

Strawberry-Almond Spinach Salad

Lemon Curd Tart

Strawberry Milk Whoopie Pies

Pink Bourbon Cocktail

Coconut Almond Bunny Tails

Photo By: Heather Baird SprinkleBakes.com

Chicken-Stuffed Pitas

Tiffany-Blue Macarons With Orange Blossom Buttercream

Jelly Bean Place Cards

Pina Colada Doughnuts

Carrot Cake Cocktail

Speckled Egg Petit Fours

Photo By: Jason Kisner

Tomato Burrata Crostini

Coca-Cola Cupcakes With Salted Peanut Butter Frosting

Easter Pancakes

Photo By: Alison Gootee

Best Potato Salad

Fresh Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

Photo By: Evin Photography

Neopolitan Bonbon Cupcakes

Honey Glazed Carrots

Photo By: Evin Photography

Deconstructed Falafel Salad

Dip-Dyed Marshmallows

Photo By: Jason Kisner

Pie Pop Basket

Raspberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

Easter-Inspired Chex Mix

Next Up

How to Hard-Boil Eggs for Easter

Whether you’re making egg salad or deviled eggs this Easter, try this simple technique to get hard-boiled eggs that are delicious every time.

5 No-Bake Easter Treats You Can Make in a Few Hours

Heather Baird of Sprinkle Bakes shares five quick and easy Easter treats that are almost too cute to eat.

5 Things to Do With Leftover Easter Candy

Fun new ways to use the Easter Bunny's bounty.

15 Easter Egg Decorating Ideas That Go Beyond Dyeing

Leave dye behind and use one of these clever techniques instead.

9 Spring-Perfect Easter Tables

Let these stunning spring table settings inspire your own Easter celebration — no matter what you're planning.

Make Pretty + Delicious Sugared Cranberries

Snacking on cranberries? It's better than it sounds. Get the recipe for these addictive (and pretty!) sugared cranberries that are sure to be a hit at your next holiday party.

Make This Adorable Woodland Cake + 5 More Ways to Decorate With Faux Bois

A love of everything woodland inspires the creation of a faux bois cake that is perfect for a holiday celebration.

46 Treats to Put 'Halloween Baking Championship' Bakers to Shame

Not a baking expert? Dress up as one for Halloween with these super-easy, super-impressive fall treats.

5 Treats to Get Your Dark Chocolate Fix

These five healthy dark chocolate treats are the perfect addition to any Valentine's Day plans.

Dad-Approved Beer Cocktails to Sip This Father's Day

From mowing the lawn to reapairing leaky faucets, dads really do it all. Say "thanks" with a cocktail crafted just for him. 

Meet the Team

Get to know the talented writers and editors of HGTV's show and design blog. 

Go Behind the Blog

From the Archives

Take a look back at our past posts, from entertaining and design trends to up-and-coming HGTV shows.  

Read All Our Past Posts