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Easter Bread

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Nothing is better than homemade bread, especially traditional holiday breads. Whether it's your first time or you're a pro, try this easy Easter Bread recipe. Studded with hard-boiled eggs and baked to golden brown perfection, this recipe is sure to be a hit at your next Easter event!

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Ingredients

  • MASTER SWEET DOUGH:
  • 6 to 7 large eggs
  • food coloring, optional
  • All-purpose flour for dusting
  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  • 5 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces, brought to room temperature, plus 1/2 tablespoon, melted

Details

Servings 14
Preparation time 110mins
Cooking time 155mins
Adapted from bonappetit.com

Preparation

Step 1

Place 5 or 6 eggs in a medium pot. Pour in cold water to cover by 1-inch and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from heat, cover pot, and let stand for 10 minutes. Transfer eggs to a medium bowl of ice water; let cool completely.

If desired, color eggs according to food-coloring package directions, or check out our recipes for dying your eggs naturally. Transfer eggs to paper towels to dry.

DO AHEAD:
Eggs can be dyed up to 1 week ahead. Cover and chill.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Punch down dough. Divide into 3 equal pieces. With lightly floured hands, roll each piece on a lightly floured surface into a 16-inch-long rope with tapered ends. If dough begins to bounce back, cover with a kitchen towel, and let rest for 10 minutes to allow dough to relax.

Arrange ropes side by side lengthwise on prepared sheet. Pinch top ends together. Braid dough. Pinch bottom ends together to secure (braided loaf will be about 12-inches long). Tuck dyed eggs between braids, spacing evenly. Loosely cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel. Let rise in a warm, draft-free area until puffed but not doubled in size, about 45 to 50 minutes.

Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven; preheat to 375°F.

Whisk remaining egg with 2 teaspoons warm water in a small bowl. Avoiding dyed eggs, brush dough all over with egg wash. Bake until bread is golden and an instant-read thermometer inserted into center of loaf registers 190°F, this should take about 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

DO AHEAD: Can be made 8 hours ahead. Let cool completely and store airtight at room temperature.

STAND-MIXER METHOD:
Heat milk in a small saucepan over medium heat or in a microwave until an instant-read thermometer registers 110°F to 115°F. Transfer milk to a 2 cup measuring cup; stir in 1 tablespoon sugar. Sprinkle yeast over milk and whisk to blend. Let sit until yeast is foamy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs; whisk until smooth.

Combine remaining 4 tablespoons sugar, flour, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add milk mixture. With mixer running, add 1/2 cup room-temperature butter, 1 piece at a time, blending well between additions. Mix on medium speed for 1 minute. Knead on medium-high speed until dough is soft and silky, about 5 minutes.

Brush a medium bowl with some melted butter; place dough in bowl. Brush top of dough with remaining melted butter; cover with plastic wrap.

DO AHEAD: Can be made up to 1 day ahead. Cover with plastic; chill.

Let dough rise in a warm, draft-free area until doubled in size, this should take about 1 to 1 1/2 hours or 2 to 2 1/2 hours if dough has been refrigerated.

FOOD PROCESSOR METHOD:
Fit your food processor with the standard chopping or dough blade, then make the milk mixture according to the dough recipe above, including whisking in the eggs.

Combine remaining 4 tablespoons sugar, flour, and salt in food processor. Pulse to blend. Add milk mixture; process until combined. With processor running, add 1/2 cup room-temperature butter, 1 piece at a time, blending well between additions. Process until dough is soft and silky, about 2 to 3 minutes longer. Dough will be sticky but should not be greasy. If it is greasy, process for an additional 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer dough to the buttered bowl and continue with recipe as directed.

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