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Easter Bread

Easter Bread

This recipe for Easter Bread has directions for either a soft-cooked or hard-cooked egg to be nestled in the sweet braided bread. It’s an Easter tradition.
4 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Additional Time 2 hrs
Total Time 2 hrs 50 mins
Course Breads – Biscuits & Muffins
Cuisine Italian
Servings 8 servings


  • For the Bread
  • 1 ¼ cups whole milk warmed to about 95°F
  • cup Colavita extra virgin olive oil or other mild oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons 1 packet yeast
  • 2 eggs at room temperature
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest from 1 large orange
  • 4 to 4 ½ cups all-purpose flour start with 3 ½ cups and add as needed to create a soft, but not wet, dough
  • Additional Items
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water called an egg wash
  • Dyed eggs only use as many as you plan to actually eat
  • Colored sprinkles optional but pretty


  • If using a stand mixer: In a large mixer bowl, combine the yeast, salt, eggs, and sugar. Add the warm milk and olive oil and mix. Add 3 ½ cups of the flour and mix with a dough hook (or by hand); adding small amounts of flour until you have a soft, slightly sticky dough. ( You may not need all the flour, just add it until the dough is not wet anymore.) Knead until smooth with either the dough hook or turn out onto a floured board and knead, keeping your hands coated in flour. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about an hour to an hour and a half.
  • If using a bread machine: Add the ingredients to the machine in the order listed by the manufacturer, generally, liquids, sugars, flour and finally yeast. Set to dough. Be sure to peek inside while the dough is mixing and add additional flour as needed.
  • Once the dough has risen, punch it down and turn it onto a floured surface. Divide the dough into 16 even pieces. Roll each piece to form about a ¾ inch thick rope 12 inches long. Take two pieces and braid them together, pinching the ends. Loop into a circle and pinch the ends to close. 
  • Place each braid on a cookie sheet that has been lined with parchment paper (you will need two cookie sheets). Cover and let rise again. ( You can make these to this point a day ahead, cover and keep in the refrigerator removing them an hour before cooking).
  • Heat the oven to 350°F (325°F if convection). Place the oven racks in the upper and lower third of the oven. 
  • Brush each braid with the egg wash; sprinkle with the sprinkles, if using and place a colored egg in the center of the ring. Bake for 15 minutes for a soft egg, or 20 minutes for a hard egg; switching the cookie sheets halfway through the baking time (not necessary if using convection). 
  • Enjoy your bread with your egg. If soft-cooked, set the egg upright in the "hole" and use a sharp knife to remove the top. If hard-cooked, peel, or cut into half.
Keyword different ways to cook Easter Bread, Easter Bread traditional, Easter Bread with soft-cooked eggs
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