Get Ready for Easter With This Italian Easter Bread Recipe

Posted on 3-22-2023

Easter is coming up on Sunday, April 9th.  If you’re preparing a brunch or dinner for family and friends, you’ll want to dress up your table with this colorful Italian Easter Bread*.

Ingredients for One Wreath-Shaped Loaf

• 4 hard-boiled eggs (colored for Easter)
• 1 cup lukewarm milk (or water – milk makes a
softer bread)
• ½ cup sugar (or monk fruit sweetener) + ½ tsp of
regular sugar
• 1 pkg of dry active yeast (or 2.5 teaspoons)
• 5-6 cups all-purpose flour (you might not use all
of the flour)
• 2 tsp salt
• 2 large eggs (not the boiled ones!)
• 2 tsp pure lemon extract
• 1 stick of butter – softened
• Egg wash (1 egg mixed with 4 tablespoons of cold water)
• Sprinkles – if desired


1. Preheat oven to 375°.

2. Put the warm milk in a small bowl and add the yeast, plus ½ tsp of sugar. Let stand 5-6 minutes.

3. Then, in a large, non-metallic bowl, add 4 cups of flour, the remaining sugar, and salt, Whisk together, then add the dissolved yeast mixture, the eggs, and the lemon extract. Mix well (mixer or by hand) until dough forms.

4. Add butter 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing well in between. Continue mixing/kneading, until dough is well-mixed. Put dough into large, greased, non-metallic bowl, cover with cloth, and let rise until doubled in size (1-2 hrs).

5. Grease (or line with parchment) a large baking sheet.

6. Punch down dough, and turn out onto floured board. Knead just until dough is easy to work with. Then divide into 3 parts, and roll each one into a long rope. Place the 3 ropes on the baking sheet, side-by-side, and pinch the top ends together. Now braid the ropes and then pinch the two ends together – forming a wreath. Insert or press the boiled eggs into the wreath, cover with cloth, and let rise another 30-45 minutes.

7. Brush with egg wash and add sprinkles (if desired).

8. Bake until golden-brown (30-40 minutes).

9. Remove pan from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before transferring bread to a wire rack.

After bread is cool, dust with powdered sugar, if desired.  The eggs can be eaten, but might be difficult to peel.

(*This Recipe, by Michael Lee, was originally published by Decided Excellence Catholic Media.)