Italian Easter Bread with Dyed Eggs

3.61 avg. rating (72% score) - 56 votes

Italian Easter Bread with Dyed Eggs

Sweet and tender Italian Easter Bread, artfully decorated with colorful dyed eggs, makes for a beautiful (and delicious!) Easter table centerpiece.

How to make Italian Easter Bread with Dyed Eggs.

Yield: 1 loaf

For the Bread


  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 3 - 4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup chopped mixed candied fruit or raisins
  • 1/3 cup chopped blanched almonds
  • 1/2 teaspoon anise extract
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 5 hardboiled eggs colored with Easter-egg dye


In a large mixing bowl, blend the sugar, salt, and yeast well with 1 cup of the flour. In a saucepan, combine milk and butter, heating slowly until liquid is warm and butter is melted. Pour the milk into the dry ingredients and beat 125 strokes with a wooden spoon. Add the two eggs and 1/2 cup flour or enough to make a thick batter. Beat vigorously for 2 minutes. Stir in more flour, enough to make a ball of dough that draws away from the sides of the bowl.

Turn out onto a floured board and knead for about 10 minutes, working in additional flour to overcome stickiness. Place the dough into a greased bowl, turning to grease the top. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and put into a warm, draft-free place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, combine the fruit, nuts, and anise.

Punch down the dough and return it to a lightly floured board. Knead in the fruit mixture, keeping the syrupy pieces dusted with flour until they are worked into the dough. Divide the dough in half. Carefully roll each piece into a 24-inch rope--the fruit and nuts will make this slightly difficult. Loosely twist the two ropes together and form it into a ring on a greased baking sheet. Pinch the ends together well. Brush the dough with melted butter. Open up the twist slightly to make a place for each colored egg. Carefully push the eggs down into the dough as far as possible. Cover the bread with a towel or plastic wrap and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until double in bulk, about 1 hour.

Bake the bread in a preheated 350 degrees F oven for about 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a twist comes out clean. Place onto a wire rack to cool.

For the Glaze


  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • colored sprinkles, for decoration


Once the bread is cool, combine confectioners' sugar, milk, and vanilla and stir until smooth. Add more milk if necessary until smooth but not runny. Drizzle over the bread around the eggs, then top with sprinkles.
  • Thank you. This Bread was not only delicious, but looked great with all the colors of Easter. Made me very happy

  • I agree with Lois that the eggs are baked in the bread. My recipe came from article on cakes / breads of the ethnic holidays appeared in the old Farmer Almanac. The eggs are dyed before insertion which I use organic ingredients such as onion skins.

  • this is Almost the original recipe…The eggs are NOT hard boiled prior to baking…Baking is what cooks them!!!!!!!

  • Hi Katrina. I don’t see why not, but it’s best to use the dough within 2 days. After kneading, place in a lightly oiled, large mixing bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator – this is the first rise. When ready to use, remove and punch down, then rest before shaping. The final rise will be longer because the dough will be cold. Then bake as directed. Thanks!

  • Katrina

    Can I premake the dough and store it for a day or two before baking?

  • Hi Carol. It’s best to make the bread close to when you’re going to serve it for the very reason you mentioned. If you have leftovers that need storing, I’d suggest gently removing the eggs and storing them in the fridge, while the bread can be wrapped in plastic wrap or stored in a large zip-top bag at room temperature for another day or 2.

  • I have a question. Does the bread need refrigeration because of the eggs?

  • Adrian

    My Ex mother in-law God rest her soul used to buy this all the time for Easter so i wanted to make it one day for my family but no one would give up the recipe so my friend on line found this and now i’m going to make these for my grand kids which i have like 8 of them and pass the recipe on with my daughter and son and step sons as well Thank you

  • Anonymous

    This reminds me of a recipe my aunt used to make especially for me.My wife made it and it was great!!!

  • Georgianna

    This IS the Authentic ITALIAN Easter Bread recipe that my mother and grandmother used. (Somewhere in moving I lost the original, which is okay because my mother’s recipe had all the amounts except the flour–all her recipes say “as much flour as needed”.) It is an excellent bread which can be eaten as a dessert with red wine (dunk it); toast it for breakfast or use it with Easter dinner. I am thrilled to have found it. The only thing I changed was is that I use my breadmaker for the kneading–saves time and the texture is much better. Add fruits and nuts after it comes out of the breadmaker and only knead enough to get them into the dough. Thank you!


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