Braided Italian Easter Bread-Pane di Pasqua

Italian Easter Bread (Pane di Pasqua)is one of our all-time favorite breads!  This rich and flavorful Sweet Egg Bread is braided, and then studded with colorful Easter eggs. It's perfect for Easter brunch, or any special holiday breakfast or brunch!

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14 loaves


Easter Bread

prep Time

2.5 hrs



– 1 cup milk – 1 packet active dry yeast (1/4 ounce envelope) – 4 eggs , room temperature – 1 tsp vanilla extract – 1/2 cup granulated sugar – 4 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (may need more as mixing) – 1 Tbsp. lemon zest – 1 tsp kosher salt – 8 Tbsp. butter , melted and cooled – 7 dyed eggs (follow instructions on the food coloring) Egg Wash: – 1 egg – 1 tablespoon water

Should I Use Raw or Hard-Boiled Eggs? I color the eggs while they are uncooked. When you nestle them into the dough and place in the oven to bake, they will be completely cooked when you take it out. If you do have hard-boiled eggs and decide to use them in the bread, the eggs will be very cooked after it bakes inside the bread. I think the texture of the eggs when you put them uncooked in the bread and bake them is the right texture.

Shaping the ropes.  When you make the ropes, make sure you don’t make them too long, otherwise your little nests to hold the eggs will be too wide. The dough ropes do shrink as you roll them and then shrink again when you stop. I would measure them and make sure they’re not over 12 inches long. If the ropes are too skinny, the nests will be too wide.


Measuring the flour.  I use between 4 1/2 and 5 cups of flour, but never more than 5 cups. If you add more than 5 cups, the dough will be too dry. I do mention in the recipe to start with 4 1/2 cups and add a tablespoon more of flour at a time until it is a pliable dough, not too sticky, and not dry


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