A festive, pretty and delicious Easter bread! Bring one of these to your church potluck or to serve with Easter brunch to add some interest to your table! It was an easy bread to assemble and dying the eggs was a fun project to do with my son on this rainy day. The bread was slightly sweet, light and airy, with a hint of lemon… a very tasty bread that goes with everything. I recommend serving with whipped honey butter or cheese and fruit salad.
Dying the Eggs
(We left our eggs raw since they were to be baked into the bread.)
Mix 1 cup water to 1 Tbsp vinegar, and as much food coloring as you need for each color. My son gently dropped each egg into a glass and we let them sit for an hour to get a rich vibrant color. Take them out and let dry. Using a paper towel, rub them with cooking oil to make them more glossy.
- 3 tsp dry active yeast (about 1 1/2 packet)
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar
- 1 cup milk, warmed
- 4 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp lemon zest
- 1 tsp salt
- 6 Tbsp butter, melted & cooled
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 4 eggs
- 4 dyed eggs
- 1 egg beaten with a splash of water (egg wash)
- Almond Slices
Mix the dry active yeast into the warmed milk and sit for 5 minutes.
Add everything up to and including the 4 eggs, into the bread machine.
Program dough setting and let the machine do the work (about an hour). This is a good time to dye the eggs (see above for how we did it). When the machine finished, I had left the dough in the machine to sit for another hour. When I came back, the dough was so poofy it raised the lid on the machine!
On a floured work surface take out the dough and knead, separate into 3 balls. Roll them out into equal long pieces and braid. Connect the 2 ends as best you can to complete the circle braid.
Take your 4 dyed eggs (non hard bolied as they will cook in the oven with the bread), and squish them into the braided dough.
Move the bread onto a greased baking sheet. Brush on egg wash. Sprinkle on some almonds. Bake for about 25-20 minutes or until golden brown.
isn’t it necessary for the bread to rise a 2nd time after shaping it into the braid?
Yes, I imagine you are correct. Most bread recipes I have come across usually indicate a 2nd rising period, but alas I hadn’t the time! So I skipped that step and found this bread to be absolutely enormous, light and fluffy anyways. Maybe it was the recipe! It could also have been the fact I used the bread machine. Thanks for reading my tiny blog and leaving a comment! -Sarah
Hi! I intend to make a greek easter bread for my coursework May I check with you, according to your recipe, you allowed the machine to do the work for an hour using the dough setting. I noticed that there isn’t any “rest time” for the dough to poof. Will the dough actually poof while the machine is mixing it? And also, will normal mixer (with deeper bowl) and k-beater do the job?
Yes the dough setting will knead the dough and then it gives it time to rise in a controlled temperature. When the machine beeps its ready to be worked with and braided. You can let it sit for another 15 minutes or so after its braided before going into the oven. I hope you enjoy it!
I see, thank you! If I don’t have a bread machine, will any mixer with dough hook work for this recipe?
sorry.. just now saw your comment! Yes, I believe it will be just fine if you just need to let it rise in a warm area covered. Good luck!
This is taking me back….my Mom’s family is Portuguese, we always had Sweet Bread with brown eggs baked in, but for Easter we got fancy shmancy with colored eggs. I haven’t had the colored eggs in a long time. Thanks for reminding me!
Thanks for sharing, Kim, it must be nice to have those memories.
Wonderful post! Beautiful bread! I linked back to your site in a post to show the wonderful color version you made. Thank you for sharing.