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
- 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
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.