Anytime I can incorporate my lil’ monkey into helping with a recipe I jump at the chance. I loved that this bread incorporated dyed eggs, because it gave me an excuse to dye eggs with my daughter. We are running off to St. Louis for Easter to visit family, so no long post with this pretty loaf of bread. Just the point to remember to spend time with your loved ones and do something special. Dying Easter eggs was always a special memory of mine when I was little and I loved sharing it with my daughter now. Happy Easter!
Italian Easter Bread
2 1/2 c.all-purpose flour, divided
1/4 c. sugar
1 t. salt
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
2/3 c. milk
2 T. butter
2 eggs 5 whole eggs, dyed if desired
2 T. butter, melted
2 c. powdered sugar
1/4 c. milk
Combine 1 cup flour, sugar, salt and yeast; stir well. Combine milk and butter in a small saucepan; heat until milk is warm and butter is softened but not melted.
Gradually add the milk and butter to the flour mixture; stirring constantly. Add two eggs and 1/2 cup flour; beat well. Add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.
Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into two equal size rounds; cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Roll each round into a long roll about 36 inches long and 1 1/2 inches thick. Using the two long pieces of dough, form a loosely braided ring, leaving spaces for the five colored eggs. Seal the ends of the ring together and use your fingers to slide the eggs between the braids of dough.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place loaf on a buttered baking sheet and cover loosely with a damp towel. Place loaf in a warm place and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes. Brush risen loaf with melted butter.
Bake in preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes, or until golden. Mix powdered sugar with milk and pour over warmed bread and ENJOY!