You will be wondering why I am posting Easter bread after Easter. It was to complete this month Daring Baker’s challenge, which was to make Easter bread, suggested by Wolf of wolf’s den. I was planning to make Easter bread for a long time, but never got around to it. Finally I was able to make this beautiful Italian Easter bread-Pane di pasqua.
It all started because my daughter’s school also wanted two hard boiled eggs for coloring the eggs. So thought why not I make few colored eggs for my Easter bread too. I boiled 5 eggs to make hard boiled eggs for coloring; unfortunately only two were able to come out in good shape, while others started cracking while in the water. I boiled a few more eggs, to get intact shelled hard boiled eggs. I usually make hard boiled eggs by adding salt to boiling water. How do you make it? I get good success with this method, occasionally get some cracking. Since I don’t care much about shell it is not a problem. But for coloring the eggs I need some perfect hard boiled eggs. Also my princess wants to color the eggs with her favorite color blue. I made blue, red, green, yellow and green color to make various colored eggs. I used Wilton gel food coloring to make the eggs.
Even though for the Italian Easter bread recipe I don’t need a hard boiled eggs, only they color the raw eggs and eggs gets cooked while baking. I was hesitant to use raw eggs for coloring. Boiled eggs in the evening and put it in colored water for overnight in refrigerator and next morning I started to make the bread. I read that traditional Sicilian Easter bread dough consists of orange zest and anise seed. I always forget to use the orange juice after zesting the orange, so this time I also added orange juice to bread dough. I can’t waste my orange as it is grown in my backyard. This bread has brioche kind of dough and rich with butter and eggs. It is really easy to make dough, just mix flour, butter, sugar, eggs, orange juice, orange zest, yeast, anise seed and milk.
Traditional Italian Easter bread is made as braids with colored eggs pushed it into dough. I made it as individual rings, like I saw here, which doesn’t require pushing it into dough. After first fermentation divide the dough into single ropes and twist them to form braids and set aside for another rise. Once the dough is raised and ready to bake, place the colored eggs in the center and do the egg wash on the dough and sprinkle with sprinkles. Italian Easter bread is more colorful and summery than the Greek Easter bread. The later consists of red colored eggs which resemble the blood of Jesus. May be next time I will make Greek Easter bread.
Along with this I also tried Norwegian decorative Easter bread, which turned good but decoration was really bad. So my reality was far from the expectation. I will try those too as the bread is so tasty.
For the time being I am happy with Italian Easter bread, here comes the recipe.
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This is Swathi ( Ambujom Saraswathy) from Zesty South Indian Kitchen who loves to explore cuisines from all over the world. Whenever possible I try to to give an Indian touch to several of the world cuisine, and has weakness for freshly baked bread. All the recipes you see here are created by me and approved after taste-test by my family.