This Easter Bread recipe is sure to be a hit at your holiday table! A traditional Italian dessert, make it extra festive with dyed eggs and sprinkles. They’re sweet, fluffy, citrusy, and easy to make. Perfect for Easter brunch!
What Is Easter Bread?
This Easter bread recipe yields a soft and chewy yeast bread with a hint of sweetness and citrus. I used orange zest, but lemon zest would be delicious as well. To take it up a notch, try dipping your Easter Bread Wreaths in honey or honey butter (aka honey mixed with softened salted butter). Trust me, you won’t regret it!
I came to learn about and love Easter Bread while I was living in Italy. It’s traditionally made for Italian and Greek Easter celebrations, though others have adopted the tradition as well. It can be made into one large loaf (obviously you’ll need to adjust the cooking time for larger loaves) or several smaller loaves for individual servings (like I’ve done here). I’ve also seen it braided, twisted, made with or without eggs, and topped with or without sprinkles. You can truly customize this Italian Easter Bread recipe to best fir your family’s palette!
Do I Need To Dye the Eggs for Easter Bread?
The eggs do not have to be dyed, but I think they’re more festive dyed. Sprinkles are add some holiday flair. I had all white on-hand, but multicolored or spring-themed would be gorgeous!
To save time, you can dye the eggs in advance of baking the bread. We are not using hard boiled eggs. The eggs will cook in the oven while the bread bakes. You’ll want to be extra careful dying them because will be raw. You know what happens if a raw egg cracks. (Talk about mess!)
- Eggs — You’ll need raw (aka not boiled) eggs to dye and cook with the bread. (If you’re not a fan, you can always leave this part out.)
- Milk — Whole milk is best for this recipe because of the protein and fat content in it. You’ll scald, but not boil, it to activate the yeast.
- Active Dry Yeast — Use active dry and not fast-acting yeast.
- Flour — All-purpose flour works best for this recipe.
- Kosher Salt — Helps balance out the sweetness of the dough.
- Butter — Unsalted, softened to room temperature. This helps it evenly incorporate into the bread dough and not make it overly salty.
- Sugar — I recommend baking with Dixie Crystals Extra Fine Granulated Sugar!
- Orange Zest — This gives the Easter Bread a boost of fresh flavor that works beautifully with the sweet dough.
- Garnish — Colorful nonpareils, fresh berries, mint leaves, and/or honey.
How To Make This Easter Bread Recipe
I created this recipe in partnership with Dixie Crystals, so you can find the full recipe and the step-by-step directions on their website!
- Not a fan of the dyed Easter eggs? You can omit them! They’re mainly for decoration, anyway.
- Want more citrus flavor? Add some fresh-squeezed orange juice and zest to your honey or honey butter to brighten up those flavors.
- Looking for chocolate? Add some chopped semisweet chocolate (preferably from a bar) to the dough, or serve baked easter Bread with a melted Nutella drizzle. Yum!
Store leftover Easter Bread Wreaths at room temperature in an airtight container. You can reheat them in the oven, if desired, or enjoy at room temp. While we did not test freezing this recipe (frankly because they didn’t last that long!), you should be able to freeze the bread for up to 1 month. Allow to thaw completely before re-serving or toasting in the oven. You could freeze the cooked dyed eggs, but you could also leave those out and save whatever’s leftover for snacks or breakfast.
More Easter Recipes To Try
If you enjoyed this Italian Easter Bread recipe, then you’ll love these other spring dishes perfect for your Easter table!
- Maille Deviled Eggs
- Balsamic Honey Dijon Glazed Spiral Ham
- Sautéed Asparagus with Lemon
- Cheesy Spinach Strata
- Ham, Mushroom, and Asparagus Frittata
- 6 raw (unboiled) eggs, dyed or tinted as desired
- 1 1/4 cup whole milk, scalded
- 1 envelope active dry yeast
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3/4 cup Dixie Crystals Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
- Zest from 1 orange
- 3 eggs, beaten & separated
- 5-6 cups all-purpose flour*
- Colored sprinkles or edible decoration of choice
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