Italian Easter Bread
Easter bread with colored eggs embedded in the dough.
- Three cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- One package active dry yeast
- One teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup warm milk (120 to 130 degrees F.)
- Two tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
- Two eggs
- grated orange zest
- 1/4 cup chopped blanched almonds
- 1/2 teaspoon anise seeds
- Five hard boiled eggs
- vegetable oil
- One cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- Three tablespoons orange juice
- sprinkles or nonpareils, for decorating
In a mixing bowl, combine 1 cup flour, sugar, yeast and salt. Add milk and butter; beat 2 minutes on medium.
Add 2 eggs and 1/2 cup flour; beat 2 minutes on high. Stir in fruit, nuts and aniseed; mix well.
Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl; turn once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
Dye the hard boiled eggs in Easter colors and lightly rub with oil.
Punch dough down. Divide in half; roll each piece into a 24-in. rope. Loosely twist ropes together to form a circle and tuck eggs into openings. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.
Bake at 350 degrees F. for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan; cool on a wire rack.
Decorate with a glaze and sprinkles, if desired.