Easter always makes me think of my Nonna, it was her favorite holiday. She would be in the kitchen for days making all the goodies we would eat. For as long as I could remember, my Nonna would make this wonderful Italian Easter bread every Easter morning. It was the one thing I looked forward to even more than my easter basket from the bunny.
I love the way her hands worked with the dough.
My job was sprinkling the sprinkles all over the dough.
When the Italian Easter Bread comes out of the oven you could smell that wonderful scent all the way down the block.
- 6¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 packages rapid rise yeast (4½ teaspoons)
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 cups lukewarm water
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 egg with water
- 12 eggs, hard-boiled and colored
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large mixing bowl, add flour, salt, and sugar, combine with the paddle attachment on medium speed.
- In a medium bowl, add the water and the envelopes of yeast, let sit for a few minutes.
- Add the yeast/water mixture to the flour and continue mixing on medium speed. When thoroughly combined change attachment to the dough hook, then add the olive oil.
- Continue mixing for about 10 minutes, occasionally scraping down sides.
- Cover and let rise in a warm area until dough has doubled in size (about 1 hour).
- On a floured surface, punch down dough and divide into 36 uniform pieces.
- Roll each piece into a 1" rope about 12" long.
- Use 3 ropes for each bread braid and form into a ring.
- Place rings on a Silpat or a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.
- When all are complete, cover and let rise one more time, for an hour.
- Wash each bread ring with the egg and water wash, add colored egg to the center of the ring.
- Add sprinkles.
- Bake for 20 minutes of golden brown.