Easter bread is a signature dish on many European tables. This slightly sweet and leavened with yeast Italian version, pane Di Pasqua, is baked with colored eggs embedded into the dough.
- ¾ cup of warm whole milk
- 1 package of active dry yeast
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/3 cup of granulated sugar
- 4 1/3 cups of all-purpose flour
- ½ cup of unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 4 colored eggs (click here to see the recipe)
- 1 egg for egg wash
- 1 teaspoon of milk
- 1 tablespoon of poppy seeds
In the stand mixer equipped with a paddle attachment, mix warm milk, yeast, and sugar. Let stand until mixture is foamy, about 10 minutes.
Add eggs and salt, beat on medium speed until combined.
Reduce speed to slow and gradually beat in 2 cups of flour. Change paddle attachment to a hook attachment, and knead in the remaining flour, add butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, kneading after each addition. Continue kneading for another 5 to 7 minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic.
Transfer dough to a large, lightly buttered bowl, and let rest in a warm place that is free of drafts until it rises and doubles in size, about 1 hour.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Transfer dough to a lightly floured working space. Divide dough into 4 equal pieces, and then divide each piece in half. Roll each piece into the shape of a rope about 12 inches long.
Place two pieces vertically in front of you, pinch ends together on one side, and twist ropes together, and again pinch the ends. Form the twisted ropes into a circle and place on the prepared baking sheet. Place 1 dyed egg in the center of the circle. Repeat with remaining dough. Cover loosely, and let rise again in a warm place for another 30 minutes.
Prepare egg wash by mixing 1 egg with 1 teaspoon of milk. Brush dough with the egg wash, avoiding the eggs, and then sprinkle with poppy seeds.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Bake until golden brown, about 25 to 30 minutes.
Preparation time: about 2.5 hours
Baking time: about 30 minutes
Recipe inspired by ‘Bake From Scratch’ magazine from March/April 2017.
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