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Easy Italian Easter Bread

 Easy Italian Easter Bread
This traditional Easter bread is topped with colored raw eggs, which cook as the bread bakes. It makes for a pretty centerpiece.
20 ServingsPrep: 30 min. + rising Bake: 30 min.

Ingredients

  • 2-3/4 to 3-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup 2% milk
  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup chopped mixed candied fruit
  • 1/4 cup chopped blanched almonds
  • 1/2 teaspoon aniseed
  • 5 uncooked eggs, dyed
  • GLAZE:
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons 2% milk
  • Decorator candies, optional

Directions

  • In a large bowl, combine 1 cup flour, sugar, yeast and salt. In a
  • large saucepan, heat milk and 2 tablespoons butter to
  • 120°-130°. Add dry ingredients; beat on medium speed for 2
  • minutes. Add eggs; mix well. Stir in enough remaining flour to form
  • a soft dough.
  • Turn onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic,

2 of 2

Easy Italian Easter Bread (continued)

Directions (continued)

  • about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease
  • top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  • Punch dough down; turn onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in
  • fruit, almonds and aniseed until blended. Let rest for 10 minutes.
  • Divide dough in half. Shape each portion into a 24-in. rope. Loosely
  • twist ropes together; place on a greased baking sheet and form into
  • a ring. Pinch ends together. Melt remaining butter; brush over
  • dough. Gently separate ropes and tuck dyed eggs into openings. Cover
  • and let rise until doubled, about 40 minutes.
  • Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a
  • wire rack. For glaze, in a bowl, combine the confectioners' sugar,
  • vanilla and enough milk to achieve desired consistency; drizzle over
  • bread. Sprinkle with candies if desired. Yield: 1 loaf (20 slices).
Nutritional Facts: 1 slice equals 172 calories, 5 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 80 mg cholesterol, 169 mg sodium, 28 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 5 g protein.