Italian Easter bread – Pane di Pasqua

Pane di Pasqua (Italian Easter breads) fluffy, slightly sweet, rich and soft, like a brioche, flavored with generous amount of lemon zest and a touch of ground aniseed

Italian Easter breads from Roxanashomebaking.com Fluffy, slightly sweet, rich and soft, like a brioche, flavored with generous amount of lemon zest and a touch of ground aniseed

Italian Easter breads from Roxanashomebaking.com Fluffy, slightly sweet, rich and soft, like a brioche, flavored with generous amount of lemon zest and a touch of ground aniseed

Last week Italian Easter Pie, now Italian Easter Bread.

These Italian Easter breads are fluffy, slightly sweet, rich and soft, like a brioche, flavored with generous amount of lemon zest and a touch of ground aniseed. Topped with colorful sprinkles and an egg in the middle, these Italian Easter breads are sure to impress everyone at your Easter table.

Other Italian Easter Breads I’ve seen shape the bread in one braided ring or one long braid, nesting eggs either in the middle or between the braids. I made 6 small braided rings, each one with a red egg in the middle.

Italian Easter breads from Roxanashomebaking.com Fluffy, slightly sweet, rich and soft, like a brioche, flavored with generous amount of lemon zest and a touch of ground aniseed

I remember seeing this type of bread last year and was very intrigued by the egg nested in the middle. Especially since you don’t have to cook it. It’s going to cook while the bread is baking.  How is that for a kitchen experiment?

First you start by dying the eggs. I made all of mine red, but you can do different colors if you prefer. While the eggs are resting, putting on the best color coat, start making the dough. There are several recipes for Italian Easter Breads but in the end I decided to use the dough from the Chocolate swirl bread recipe I shared last year, with only two small differences. Added lemon zest instead of orange zest and added a pinch of aniseed.

Italian Easter breads from Roxanashomebaking.com Fluffy, slightly sweet, rich and soft, like a brioche, flavored with generous amount of lemon zest and a touch of ground aniseed

Italian Easter bread – Pane di Pasqua

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 5 hours

Yield: 6 round breads

Italian Easter bread – Pane di Pasqua

Italian Easter breads - fluffy, slightly sweet, rich and soft, like a brioche, flavored with generous amount of lemon zest and a touch of ground aniseed.

Ingredients

  • 1 bread dough substituting orange zest for lemon zest and adding a pinch of aniseed.
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup boiling water, food coloring, 1 tbsp vinegar
  • sprinkles
  • 2 tbsp milk

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl add the boiling water, food coloring and vinegar. Stir to combine. Place an egg inside a whisk and leave it in the water for about 5 minutes.
  2. Take the egg out and place it in a paper towel to dry. Do the same with the remaining 5 eggs, adding more food color if needed.
  3. Make the dough following the directions and leave it to rise until doubled in volume.
  4. When the dough is risen, divide it in 12 small balls. Shape each ball into a 13-15" long rope.
  5. Take two ropes and braid them together, forming a ring by pinching the ends. Do the same with the remaining ropes.
  6. Place the dough rings on a baking sheet, next a colored egg in the middle of each one, cover with plastic foil and leave to rise for another 30 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile heat the oven to 375F.
  8. Just before baking the rings, brush them with milk and top with sprinkles.
  9. Bake for 22 minutes or until golden.
  10. Leave to cool completely. Enjoy!
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Italian Easter breads from Roxanashomebaking.com Fluffy, slightly sweet, rich and soft, like a brioche, flavored with generous amount of lemon zest and a touch of ground aniseed

Linking this Romanian Easter Bread to Bake Your Own Bread and Twelve Loaves

Other Italian Easter Bread recipes you might also like

Italian Easter bread recipes at Cake Duchess,  Brown Eyed Baker, The Italian Dish, My Italian Grandmother

Sending love your way,

Roxana

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    Hello! My name is Roxana and I'm a self-taught baker, wanna-be photographer and the writer behind Roxana's Home Baking, where I share original and adapted scratch recipes. 

Here you'll find no fuss, no hassle easy recipes with ingredients you most likely already have in your kitchen.  Read more ....

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Comments

  1. Carol | a cup of mascarpone says

    This Easter bread looks like the gorgeous bread my dear Italian grandmother used to make. The Italians set the eggs in the bread to signify renewal! Beautiful, Roxana!

  2. Kitchen Belleicious says

    i so wanted to make my own easter bread this year. its one of those things on my bucket list and I have yet to get around to doing it. I shall live thru your easter bread this year! It looks delicious

  3. Kayle (The Cooking Actress) says

    SOOOOOO pretty!!! I love it.

    My MIL makes her easter bread similarly, but not braided and with no egg, for some reason. Perhaps just because it’s easier? Regardless, um, I love this.

  4. Sheila says

    This bread is truly beautiful. It is something I have wanted to make for quite some time. I did make it yesterday, however for some reason the dye on the eggs started to come off during baking. Do you know why that might happen? Other than that the bread turned out really well.

    • says

      Hi Sheila,
      I can’t say exactly why the dye is coming off. I made a similar Greek Easter bread and on most of the eggs the dye came off. I think it has something to do with the vinegar, but not sure how.

      Roxana

  5. Lora @cakeduchess says

    My kids love to bake the mini versions with me. It’s so much fun to color the eggs (and messy). I have a problem eating a little too much of it before Easter…just beautiful, Roxy:)

  6. Beverly says

    They are beautiful and bring back sweet memories from when I was a little girl. May have to practice a few times before next Easter!

    • says

      Hi Valeri,
      Yes, you can certainly make these a day ahead. Store them at room temperature in paper bags or in a bread basket and cover with a tea towel.

  7. Colleen says

    Hi – Your Easter breads look fantastic. I’m going to try them this year (just saw the Pin today). One question – do you think they will keep if made a couple of days in advance?

    • says

      Hi Colleen,

      You can make the bread a few days ahead, but not more than 3, and store it in paper bags or in a bread basket and cover with a tea towel.

  8. Dianne Capoccia says

    I made these last year and they were such a hit. When I was little my grandmother used to make a big ‘panelle’ of this Easter Bread and we all loved it… great memories. Anyway, I am wondering if you could make the dough in advance and freeze it. Then when you are ready to make the bread take it out. Could you tell me whether you can do this and how? Thank you so much.

  9. Jeannette Beaulieu says

    I do not have a web site, I just love your Easter breads,I have not made one in years,these look so
    wonderful.
    I can’t wait to try the 6 rolls with the uncooked dyed egg.

    Thank you, Roxana

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