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Saturday, March 30, 2013

Italian Easter Bread

I have some beautiful green and blue eggs from my chickens..perfect to use for Easter.  When I saw this recipe for Easter bread I knew I had found a perfect match for my eggs.  You do not need to hard boil the eggs before using them in this bread as they will cook in the oven as the bread bakes.

 1 package yeast, about 2-1/4 teaspoons
1.1/4 cups milk
pinch of salt
1/3 cup butter
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup sugar
3-4 1/2 cups flour (approximate)
1 egg, beaten with 1 teaspoon of water
6 dyed  eggs
1 undyed egg
sprinkles or sugar

Heat the butter and milk together in a saucepan just until the butter melts.  In a large bowl combine the salt, yeast and sugar.  When the milk is just warm..not hot..add to the yeast and whisk well.  Whisk in 2 eggs and then 2 c. flour.  Stir in  at least 1 more cup of flour..or enough that the dough is not longer sticky.  Knead for 5 minutes.  Put in a large buttered bowl, place in a warm spot and allow to rise for one hour.  It will look like this after rising:

Punch down the dough and divide into 12 equal pieces.  Roll each piece into a rope about 14" long like this:

Twist two ropes together and form in a circle.  Place on a cooky sheet covered in parchment paper or silipat.  It should look like this:

Let rise for one hour.
Take the one undyed egg and  whisk with 1 T. water.  Brush over your bread "nests".  Place an egg in the center.  Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

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