Italian Easter Bread
"Both the Italians and the Swiss prepare this festive Easter bread with colored eggs embedded in the dough," informs Dolores Skrout of Summerhill, Pennsylvania.
Total TimePrep: 25 min. + rising Bake: 30 min. + cooling
- 3 to 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup warm milk (120° to 130°)
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened
- 7 eggs
- 1/2 cup chopped mixed candied fruit
- 1/4 cup chopped blanched almonds
- 1/2 teaspoon aniseed
- Canola oil
- In a large 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.
- If desired, dye remaining eggs (leave them uncooked); lightly rub with oil. Punch dough down. Divide in half; roll each piece into a 24-in. rope. Loosely twist ropes and tuck eggs into openings. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.
- Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan; cool on a wire rack.