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Downward shot of braided Easter bread with colorful eggs whole cake with lots of colorful sprinkles.

Braided Easter Bread Recipe (Italian)

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5 from 7 reviews

Italian Braided Easter Bread is a festive and delicious braided brioche bread served for Easter. Beautifully decorated with colorful eggs, sprinkles, and a sweet glaze to stand as the centerpiece of your holiday table.

  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: 12 servings 1x


Units Scale

For the brioche bread

  • 1/2 cup (120 grams) warm water at 110 – 115 degrees F
  • 1/2 cup (120 grams) warm milk
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast (2 packages)
  • 3 1/4 cups (400 grams) bread flour
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon (82 grams) sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 whole egg + 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup, 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 1 tablespoon pieces

For the topping 

  • 67 hard boiled and dyed Easter eggs
  • 1 egg, beaten for egg wash
  • Colorful sprinkles of choice
  • 1 cup powdered Sugar
  • 3 teaspoon milk


For the Brioche Bread 

  1. Stir the warm water and yeast together and allow the yeast mixture to sit for 2 minutes.
  2. In a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment add the flour. In a separate bowl, combine all of the ingredients except for the salt and butter. Mix wet ingredients well and add to the flour.
  3. Mix the ingredients on low speed for 3 to 4 minutes, until the dough has come together.
  4. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides as needed, pushing the dry ingredients into wet patches. Once the dough has come together, beat on low speed for 3-4 additional minutes. The dough will be stretchy and sticky.
  5. Add the salt. On low speed, add the butter a little at a time, mixing after each addition until it disappears into the dough.
  6. Then, continue mixing on low speed for about 10 minutes, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl. It is important for all of the butter to be mixed thoroughly into the dough. If necessary, stop the mixer to break up the dough with your hands to help mix in the butter.
  7. Once the butter is completely incorporated, turn the mixer to medium speed and beat for another 8-10 minutes, or until the dough becomes sticky, soft, and somewhat shiny. Continue beating until the dough turns smooth and silky. 
  8. Then, turn the mixer up to medium-high and beat for 1-2 minutes. You should hear the dough making slapping sounds against the sides of the mixer bowl. Test the dough by pulling it and stretching it thin.
  9. You want the dough to stretch, but also give a bit. If it feels too loose, easily breaks off into pieces, or looks shaggy, continue to mix on medium speed for 2-3 additional minutes. It’s ready when it’s smooth and stretchy and can be gathered together and picked up in one piece. The dough will remain sticky. 
  10. Place the dough in a large oiled bowl  and cover it with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rise for 60 minutes in a warm place. At this point, the dough may also be frozen or stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
  11. Optional: place dough in fridge overnight to allow the dough to proof and develop flavor.
  12. Deflate the dough and place it onto a floured surface. Divide Easter Bread dough into three equal pieces and form balls. Using hands roll each ball into a long roll about 36 inches long. Next, braid the long strands, pinching the top to secure it. Place 1 egg for every braid section, creating total of 6-7 sections for 6-7 dyed eggs. Seal the ends together creating a ring.
  13. Next, carefully place the dough on parchment paper over a baking sheet, spring form pan, or cast iron skillet. Spray an oven safe cup (or tin can) with cooking spray and place in the middle of the circle to keep the shape during the second rise. 
  14. Cover the bread lightly with plastic wrap and place it in a warm spot (75-85 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal) for 45-60 minutes, or until the bread is nearly doubled in size.
  15. Preheat oven to 350F. Brush risen easter bread with egg wash and bake for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown color. Let cool. 
  16. Make glaze. Combine powdered sugar and milk until smooth. Drizzle glaze over the bread and add sprinkles. Enjoy! 


Storing Easter bread

To store– Make sure the baked bread is completely cool before storing it in an airtight container. It can be kept at room temperature for a couple of days. In the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

To freeze – To keep the bread longer, freeze the baked bread (without the dyed eggs) in a freezer-safe bag or airtight container for up to 2 months. 

  • Author: Elena
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30-35 minutes
  • Category: Sweet
  • Method: Italian
  • Cuisine: Italian