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Sweet Italian Easter Bread

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Sweet Italian Easter Bread is a tender bread with a hint of sweetness. Baked in the center is a beautiful colored egg. Top the bread with powdered sugar, sprinkles, or even a drizzle of my brown sugar syrup.

You will be hooked at the first bite! If this is your first time making this bread, you will be in awe of how amazing it tastes.

The Easter holiday is right around the corner, so what better way to celebrate than making bread? It literally has become my absolute favorite thing to do.

These braided Easter breads, which in Italian is Pane di Pasqua, would make the perfect hostess gift to give for this special holiday. Not only that, but you can make these and give them out to everyone at the Easter dinner table this year.

You won't find these bread loaves at the grocery store! They take no time to throw together and braiding the bread is really fun.

How to Make Traditional Italian Easter Bread Recipe


For this recipe you will need the following ingredients —

  • 5 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 1/4 cups of milk
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons of instant yeast
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 3 large raw eggs (2 eggs for the recipe and 1 egg for the egg wash)
  • 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 cups to 4 cups of flour (all purpose or bread)
  • Colorful Sprinkles
  • 3 to 6 large eggs uncooked and colored

Make the Dough

In a small saucepan over medium heat, add the milk and butter. Warm the milk through until the butter melts but do not heat the milk too hot.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, add in the salt, sugar, and yeast. Now, add in the two eggs along with the vanilla and mix well.

Slowly add in the milk and butter mixture to the yeast mixture.

Add in the flour. Add the dough hook attachment and begin to mix on medium speed. The dough will be sticky at first. You may need to add more flour but no more than 4 cups. If you add too much flour, it will make the bread dense.

Once the dough has mixed for 5 minutes, take it out of the bowl and knead on a floured surface until you have a smooth ball.

Spray a large bowl with non stick spray. Make sure the spray goes up the sides of the bowl so that the dough doesn't stick. Place the soft dough in the greased bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Place in a warm place and let the dough rise until doubled in size, about 90 minutes.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Once you punch the dough down, divide the dough into 6 pieces.

I am making larger bread but you can cut the pieces smaller to make smaller breads. Just make sure to cut them all into equal pieces.

Roll each piece out to form a 1 inch thick long ropes that are about 12 to 14 inches long. Braid two ropes together, pinching the ends, and then loop into a circle.

Place the braided bread on parchment paper lined baking sheet. Cover them with a clean towel or plastic wrap and let them complete the second rise until doubled in size, about an hour.

How to Quickly Dye the Easter Eggs

While the bread dough is rising, take the raw eggs and dye them. You can dye Easter eggs naturally using fruits and veggies, but for this bread, I just added food coloring to water and dipped the eggs in them. I let them sit in the colored water until I was ready to add them to the bread.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Bake the Sweet Easter Bread

Once the bread has doubled in size, take the remaining egg and beat with 1 tablespoon of water. Brush the bread with the egg wash and then sprinkle on colorful sprinkles on the braided bread.

Put a dyed egg into the center of each bread.

Bake in the oven for 15 to 25 minutes depending on the size of the bread. Once the bread is done, you can leave the egg in the center or take it out and peel it. It should be the perfect medium boiled egg!

Add Ins for Italian Easter Bread

If you want to switch this bread up some, you can add some citrus flavor by adding in orange zest or lemon zest.

Make this loaf a savory loaf by eliminating the sugar and adding in things like jalapenos, cheese, herbs and spices and even Parmesan Cheese.

How to Store the Easter Sweet Bread

To store the baked bread, place the bread braids into an airtight container. The next day, take them out and eat them as is or toast them. Be sure to remove the colorful eggs from the braids before eating them.

Check Out These Other Delicious Easter Recipes

Delicious Easter Dessert Recipes

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Yield: 6 servings

Sweet Italian Easter Bread

Sweet Italian Easter Bread

Beautiful light and fluffy bread with the perfect colorful egg in the center. great for the Easter holiday or even to give as gifts.

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Rise Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 50 minutes


  • 5 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 1/4 cups of milk
  • 21/4 teaspoons of instant yeast
  • 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs for the bread
  • 1 large egg for the egg wash
  • 3 large eggs to color for the easter eggs
  • 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
  • 4 cups of all purpose flour
  • colorful sprinkles


  1. Combine the milk and the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook until the milk is just warmed through and the butter is melted.
  2. Set the milk aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add in the salt, sugar, and instant yeast. Stir to combine.
  4. Add in the two eggs to the dry ingredients in the bowl and mix well.
  5. Now add in the milk mixture.
  6. add the dough hook attachment and add in the flour. Mix well for about 5 minutes. You may need to add a little more flour. The dough will be sticky.
  7. Remove from the bowl and place on a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough until it makes a smooth round ball.
  8. Grease a large bowl and place the dough inside and cover with plastic wrap.
  9. Place in a warm spot and let it rise until doubled in size.
  10. Once the dough has doubled in size, remove from the bowl and punch down.
  11. Cut the dough into 6 equal portions. Take each portion and roll into a 1" long thick rope that is about 12 to 14 inches in length.
  12. Take two ropes and braid them together. Place them in a circle and pinch the ends together.
  13. Place the braids onto a parchment lined baking dish. Cover with a tea towel and allow the bread to rise until doubled in size.
  14. While the bread is rising, dye the 3 eggs. I just used food coloring and water to give the eggs a little color.
  15. Once the bread has doubled in size, take the final egg and crack it into a small bowl with one tablespoon of water. Mix well and brush each bread braid with the egg wash. Sprinkle on the colorful sprinkles.
  16. Place one dyed egg in the center of each bread.
  17. Bake in the 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes.
  18. Remove from the oven and enjoy!

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 603Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 278mgSodium: 222mgCarbohydrates: 88gFiber: 3gSugar: 20gProtein: 21g

Did you make this recipe?

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Saturday 23rd of March 2024

I really need to step up my bread game. These look so delicious and a fun treat for Easter.

Jennifer Sikora

Tuesday 26th of March 2024

It was and everyone enjoyed it!


Monday 18th of March 2024

I love sweet breads and this one has the perfect Easter surprise! Great to go with my espresso.

Jennifer Sikora

Wednesday 20th of March 2024

It really is delicious.


Sunday 17th of March 2024

I haven't made an Easter bread in years! That needs to change! I love this sweet and fun bread.

Jennifer Sikora

Wednesday 20th of March 2024

It was so fun to make

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