This is grandma’s recipe for the softest and most delicious Easter Bread! Share it with your family and make your kids happy with colorful eggs.
Hi, I’m Lorena from Green Healthy Cooking and Rachel was so kind to let me share a delicious recipe my grandma used to make for me with all of you today on The Stay at Home Chef: Easter Bread!
After a delicious Roast Lamb Shoulder Easter Bread is what we used to eat for dessert later on in the day. With butter and a little homemade apricot jam and a big cup of freshly brewed coffee. Oh the memories…..
Let’s get right into the details, shall we?
How to Make Easter Bread With Eggs
The taste and texture is actually very similar to Challah Bread only it uses milk instead of water as liquid for the dough. Plus, a proper Easter Bread obviously needs to function as an Easter egg nest, too, right?
First things first, I want to avoid you having to ask the most common question when failing at making Easter Bread: why does my easter bread not rise?
It’s the same for ALL yeast breads actually.
- Your liquid is either too hot and killed the yeast.
- The liquid is too cold and the yeast isn’t activated.
- Room temperature is too low and it takes tripe the time.
- Room temperature is too hot and the yeast dies (if you put the dough on the radiator for example).
Your liquid, be it water or milk in this case, has to be at 102F (39C). Use a thermometer. I have a lot of experience feeling temperatures but with yeast I never risk it. I always use a thermometer.
Also, always proof your yeast. More experienced bakers might get by without this step but it’s best practice to avoid having to toss all your ingredients because the dough never rose.
How to proof yeast for Easter Bread
Add yeast, 3-4 Tbps of 102F-hot milk and a teaspoon of sugar to a small bowl and cover for 10 minutes. It should be nice and bubbly at this point. If it isn’t, your yeast has either not been activated or you killed it.
All you’re tossing at this point is the yeast and a little liquid though. Not the entire batch of ingredients. Great, right?
Start over again until you achieve the bubbly stage.
How to Proceed Once Yeast is Proofed
If it IS nice and bubbly, add it to your flour with all other ingredients and start the stand mixer with the dough hook. Knead it for at least 5 minutes on high until the dough is super elastic. Then, let it rice in the same bowl covered with a clean kitchen towel to double it’s size at room temperature (do not put close to a radiator or in direct sunlight and do not put in the fridge or near an open window when it’s cold outside).
Once the dough has doubled in size, about 45 minutes into rising, it’s time to divide the dough into three pieces and roll out into long strands. Attach all three ends on one side and start braiding all the way down. Then form an O and pinch ends together. Brush the dough with a little milk, it gives the Easter Bread a really nice color.
Add your cooked colored eggs to the center and off it goes into the oven for 25 minutes or until golden. So easy!
How to Store Easter Bread
Easter Bread dries out pretty quickly so it’s best stored in a large ziplock bag or a big air-tight container and on the kitchen counter. If you plan on storing it for several days I recommend storing in the refrigerator.
Can Easter Bread be Frozen?
Absolutely. You can freeze it as a whole (without the eggs) or individual pieces. I recommend cutting it up and freeze as individual slices as this way you can easily and quickly defrost the slices by putting them in your toaster.
- 2 packages (4½ teaspoons) dry active yeast
- 1.5 cups warm milk (102F / 39C)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 6 cups all-purpose white flour
- 1 pinch salt
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 stick (113g) softened butter
- Add yeast, 4 Tbsp of the warm milk and teaspoon sugar to a small bowl and cover with a clean kitchen towel for 10-15 minutes or until yeast is bubbly.
- Sift 6 cups of white flour into your stand-mixer's bowl, add a pinch of salt, bubbly yeast, sugar, rest of the milk and softened butter cut up into chunks into the bowl and knead with the dough hook on high for at least 5 minutes or until the dough is very elastic.
- Leave dough in the bowl and cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rice until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400F (200C).
- Punch down the dough and divide into three equal parts.
- Roll parts into long strands, pinch ends together and start braiding all the way down and then pinch other ends together.
- Place on a baking sheet and form an O and pinch ends together.
- Brush with a little milk and place in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden.