Italian Sweet Bread for Easter!

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It is Easter week and not only does that mean planning family dinners and egg hunts, it means making traditional, Italian Easter bread at my house!

I have fond memories of my Aunt Nancy, my mom’s sister, baking them for each of the extended families and this was no small feat as we have a very large family! This is my adaptation of the Calabrese, Guti di Pasqua… simply a sweet Brioche. With or without the dyed eggs, it is a lovely addition to Easter Brunch or simply with coffee for a snack.

Happy Easter to you and yours may the weekend be filled with good food and family!

Stay tuned for all NEW In-person classes posted in June for the NEW school year starting in September! Also, check out our new E-Commerce page… Natalina’s Favorite Things!   

Ciao for now, Natalina

Brioche, sweet bread (Guti di Pasqua)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of whole milk
  • 4 ½ tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 4 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla or citrus extract
  • ¾ cups sugar 1/2 cup for less sweet
  • 4 ½ cups flour all purpose, unbleached flour + ½ cup for forming
  • 2 tbsp. lemon zest
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 8 tbsp unsalted butter at room temperature, cut into cubes
  • 8 dyed eggs if using
  • 1 beaten egg + 1 tbsp water

Instructions

  • Heat the milk to 110 degrees F. Add to a large bowl along with the 2 tbsp. of sugar and dissolve the yeast in the milk. Add the eggs and extract and whisk.
  • In a large bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook, mix the flour, sugar, zest and salt. Add the wet ingredients and mix until incorporated. Add the butter, 1 piece at a time, mixing in between. Remove the dough and knead into a large ball. Place in an oiled bowl, cover and let rise in a draft free place until doubles, about 1-1 1/2 hours.
  • Punch down dough and remove from the bowl. Divide into 4 equal pieces, weighing if necessary. Divide each quarter into 3 equal pieces. Roll into 3  equal snakes. Attach by pinching the ends of 3 pieces together and braid. Insert colored eggs if using by slipping them into the spaces. Place on sheet pans and cover to let rise an additional 40-45 minutes.
  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Uncover and brush with egg wash. Bake in the oven until golden and cooked thoroughly with an internal temperature of 210 degrees F.
  • Makes 4 large, braided brioche loaves. Refrigerate once cooled if using eggs as they will spoil.
Author: Natalina Campagnolo

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