Last Updated on March 23, 2021 by Ellen Christian
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This delicious Easter Bread Wreath Recipe is a traditional old fashioned Easter bread recipe. Make one for your family this year.
Easter brings back so many wonderful memories with it from when I was a child. I’ve spoken before about dying Easter eggs with natural dyes.
Easter Bread Wreath Recipe
This is a decorative sweet, yeast bread that has whole eggs baked into it. You may have also heard it referred to as Easter Bird’s Nest Bread. Either way, they are the same delicious dessert.
Some versions of this bread call for added anise. If you enjoy the taste of licorice, you can certainly add that to the dough.
Or, if you don’t or your guests don’t, you can leave it out. That’s one of those ingredients that people either love or hate.
What do I need to make this bread?
This Easter bread wreath is a yeast bread recipe so you will need a few simple kitchen tools:
- Mixing bowl
- Kitchen aid with a dough hook (or mix by hand)
- Parchment paper
- Baking sheet
- Pastry brush to brush on the melted butter
Is this a traditional Italian Easter bread?
The dough is very similar to a traditional Italian Easter bread. But, it doesn’t have the added nonpareils on top. I didn’t want to make this super sweet since my husband watches his sugar.
When we make it, we do not add the glaze or the candy to the top. If you want to, you certainly can. I think that Brioche Bread is sweet enough from the ingredients without it.
Here is a simple confectioner sugar glaze you can make.
What does Italian Easter bread symbolize?
The three eggs in a traditional Easter bread wreath symbolize the three elements of the Holy Trinity in the Christian religion. The wreath symbolizes the crown of thorns that Jesus wore at the crucifixion.
This particular bread has four eggs in it so if you want to keep it more traditional, take one out and adjust the wreath to use only three.
You may enjoy these Bread Machine Hot Cross Buns.
Italian Easter bread history
No one knows the exact origin of this recipe. Eggs are a big part of the Easter celebration because they symbolize birth and a new beginning. The tradition goes back as far as Ancient Roman times.
Bread is always an important part of any Italian celebration. And, this bread is the perfect addition to any Easter dinner.
How to make an Easter bread wreath
This is a yeast bread so it involves mixing, kneading, and rising. You cannot rush it so plan for several hours in the afternoon to make it from start to finish.
You will basically mix the ingredients and allow it to rise for an hour. After that, it will need to be punched down and kneaded. I find that a dough rising bowl is a huge help when I make bread.
After that, you will divide the dough and create the wreath shape with three different pieces by braiding them together. You will need to add the eggs at this point. The next step is the second rise.
Once that is done, you will bake it.
You can use traditional Easter egg dye from the store. Or, you can dye your Easter eggs with natural dyes.
Do I hard boil the eggs for the Easter bread wreath?
No. You will put raw eggs that have been colored in to the braided dough wreath. They will cook as you bake the bread.
Once you take the bread out of the oven and let it cool, you can slice the bread and remove the eggs. They are edible at this point and you can peel them just like you would a hard-boiled egg.
How do I store this?
If you have leftovers, you can wrap the bread with plastic wrap and store it at room temperature for three days. You will need to remove the eggs and refrigerate them. They should not be left at room temperature.
Alternatively, you can refrigerate the entire bread in plastic wrap with the eggs. Just be aware that the color from the dye may leak into the bread.
More Easter egg fun
- 3 to 3 ¼ cups all purpose flour
- 2 ¼ teaspoon active dry yeast
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ⅔ cup milk
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup golden raisins
- 4 uncooked but dyed eggs
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together 1 cup of flour, yeast, sugar, and salt.
- Place 2 tablespoons of butter into a microwave-safe container with the milk. Microwave on high for 30 seconds. Check the temperature with an instant-read thermometer. If the milk has not reached 110 degrees, return to the microwave for an additional 10 seconds.
- Pour the milk into the mixing bowl and beat until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, and continue beating until the mixture is smooth.
- Begin adding flour in small scoops until a soft dough is formed.
- Switch the mixing hook for a dough hook and knead the dough on medium speed for 5 to 7 minutes.
- Transfer dough to an oiled bowl and turn once. Cover and allow to rise in a warm place free of drafts, for approximately 1 hour, until it has doubled in size.
- Punch down the dough to deflate the air. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pat flat. Sprinkle with raisins and knead to combine.
- Divide the dough into three equal pieces.
- Roll each piece of dough into a long rope by running your hands over the dough pushing the dough from the center to the ends as you move your hands forward and backward over the dough. If the dough continues to be too elastic to retain its length, allow the dough to relax while you work on a different piece. Dough strands should be approximately 20 inches long.
- Line the strands parallel to one another. Squeeze one side of the ends together.
- To braid, start with the third strand from the left. Gently pass the strand over the 2nd strand and under the 1st strand, like a basic basketweave. Then, move to the strand all the way to the right and begin weaving over and under each strand until it reaches the left. Repeat with additional strands (about twice) until the bread is braided. Shape into a wreath and squeeze the ends together, tucking the squeezed ends under the bread.
- Tuck the uncooked, dyed eggs between the braids.
- Carefully transfer the bread to a parchment-lined baking sheet or large baking stone. Loosely cover the bread with a towel. Place in a warm spot, free of drafts, and allow to rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Melt the remaining butter. Brush the melted butter over the bread, evenly coating the bread.
- Place the bread in the oven and cook for 30 to 35 minutes. Allow the bread to cool completely before slicing and serving.
- If using the optional glaze, allow the bread to cool first. Mix all ingredients together and spoon over the bread. Add sprinkles if desired.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 658Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 83mgSodium: 306mgCarbohydrates: 124gFiber: 4gSugar: 7gProtein: 19g
Ellen is a busy mom of a 22-year-old son and 27-year-old daughter. She owns 5 blogs and is addicted to social media. She believes that it doesn’t have to be difficult to lead a healthy life. She shares simple healthy living tips to show busy women how to lead fulfilling lives. If you’d like to work together, email firstname.lastname@example.org to chat.