In a glass measuring cup, slowly warm the milk in the microwave for 1-2 minutes.
Add the butter and stir until melted.
Add the sugar and yeast. Allow to sit for a minute.
In the bowl of a standing mixer, blend the milk mixture, salt, orange zest and 1 cup of the flour.
Add the two eggs and 1/2 cup flour or enough to make a thick batter. Beat vigorously for 2 minutes. Stir in more flour, enough to make dough that draws away from the sides of the bowl.
Turn the dough out onto a floured board and knead for about 10 minutes.
Place the dough into a greased bowl, turning to grease the top and cover tightly with plastic wrap and put into a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, combine the raisins, orange extract and anise.
Punch down the dough and return it to a lightly floured board. Knead in the fruit mixture, remembering that the dried fruit will have a hard time being incorporated.
Divide the dough in half. Carefully roll each piece into a 24-inch rope, placing any lost fruit back into the dough.
Loosely twist the two ropes together and form it into a ring on a greased baking sheet. Pinch the ends together well.
Whisk together the egg white and water.
Brush the dough with the egg white mixture.
Open up the twist slightly to make a place for each colored egg. Carefully push the eggs down into the dough as far as possible.
Cover the bread with a towel or plastic wrap and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until double in bulk, about 1 hour.
Bake the bread in a preheated 350 degrees F oven for about 30-35 minutes, or until the top is lightly golden.
Place onto a wire rack to cool.
Drizzle with sweet glaze around the eggs and quickly top with sprinkles.
While the bread is still slightly warm, combine powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla and stir until smooth. Add more milk if necessary until smooth but not runny.
You can change the amount of the extracts to your taste as well as omit the raisins or use chopped, dried fruits instead.You can freeze this bread for 2 months--remove the hard boiled eggs before freezing.
Easy Italian Easter Bread
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 1173Calories from Fat 153
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 7g44%
Vitamin A 657IU13%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Author: Sweet Basil
Course: Yeast Bread Recipes and Quick Bread Recipes
Keyword: easter bread, Italian Easter Bread, sweet bread, sweet glaze