OUR ITALIAN EASTER

Sure hope you’re not sick of Easter-related posts quite yet. Because I have one more for you this year! We drove up to Omaha to spend the holiday weekend with my Grandparents. My Gramps is a full-blooded Italian and my Gram is half Italian, half Czech. (She wouldn’t want me to forget mentioning the Czech part!) They always have more than enough for us to eat– my favorite being their homemade meatballs, Italian sausage, and spaghetti; but I wanted to cook something for them. I found a recipe for Italian Easter Bread and it’s just too good not to share!

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Gramps told me that his mom cooked this on Easter, without the sprinkles and dyed eggs. The original recipe suggested six round loafs with an egg in the center of each. But Gramps said his mom did a braided loaf, so we tried that. And it seemed to work well!

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INGREDIENTS
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1/3 cup unsalted butter
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
pinch of salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup sugar
~4 cups flour
1 egg
1 teaspoon water
rainbow sprinkles
6 raw eggs, room temperature, dyed in rainbow colors

RECIPE
1. Combine the milk and butter in small saucepan over medium heat. Warm until butter is completely melted, then remove from heat. Let cool until warm.
2. In large bowl, combine the yeast, salt, 2 eggs, and sugar. Add the warm milk and half of the flour. Knead and mix together. Add more flour until the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl. (You might need a bit more than 4 cups of flour. I needed a little more than original recipe called for.) Knead the dough until smooth and elastic.
3. Place the dough in a greased bowl and turn it over to coat all sides. Cover with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise for 1 hour.
4. Place dough on floured work surface and knead out any air pockets. Divide dough into 3 equal portions, roll them out to form ropes and braid them together. Cover the loaf with plastic wrap again and let rise for at least 1 hour.
5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
6. Combine the remaining egg and 1 teaspoon of water in a small cup. Gently brush the loaf with the mixture. Decorate with sprinkles and place the 6 dyed raw eggs equidistant from each other.
7. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the bread is golden and no longer doughy in the middle.

Isn’t it super cool that you put the dyed eggs in the loaf raw?! And they hard-boil in the oven?! We commissioned Mya to dye them.

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And I think she had a good time coloring them with Great Nana. Pure love.

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And Great Papa’s pretty fun too.

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It’s basically the happiest place on earth. Not because of the Easter bread. But maybe because of the meatballs. But mostly because of the love.

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Ok, that’s the last Easter post this year. I think. But there’s no promise that Mya won’t continue to wear the bunny ear hair clips. Because… adorable.

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