Braided Easter Bread

Serving 5 people

180 min


  • active yeast 1 package active dry yeast
  • egg 1 egg, at room temperature and slightly beaten
  • eggs Food coloring or Easter egg dye
  • flour 5 large white eggs in shell, uncooked
  • kosher salt 2 1/3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • lemons 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • m&m candies Grated peel of two lemons, divided
  • milk Colored nonpareil candies
  • shortening 1/4 cup milk
  • sugar 1/4 cup shortening
  • water 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup warm water (110 to 115 ºF)
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How to make it

  1. Wash the uncooked eggs. Tint shells according to directions on food coloring or egg dye package. Once done, set aside until ready to use. Keep out of the refrigerator so they can get to room temperature. This will help the bread cook quicker and more evenly.
  2. Heat the milk just below a simmer.
  3. Add sugar, shortening, kosher salt and the grated peel from one lemon. Cool to lukewarm.In the bowl of a stand mixer, sprinkle the yeast on the warm water. Stir and allow to bloom for three minutes.Once the yeast is bloomed, add the following to the mixer: 1 1/3 cups of flour, the slightly beaten egg, and the cooled milk mixture. Beat with the paddle attachment until combined and smooth.Switch to the dough hook in the mixer and continue add the rest of the flour.
  4. Mix on medium to work the dough, about 8 minutes.
  5. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl. Turn dough over to grease the top. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow to rise for one hour in a draft-free location until dough is doubled in size.Gently punch down the dough and re-cover the bowl with the plastic wrap. Allow dough to rise for 30 more minutes, until almost doubled again.To create the ring
  6. divide dough into two parts.
  7. Roll out to 20 inch pieces. Loosely braid the pieces on a lined baking sheet, leaving space for the eggs. Be sure to make only five loops in the dough. Insert the eggs into the spaces in each ring.Cover and let rise again until doubled, about 30 minutes.While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 375 ºF.Once the dough has finished rising, brush the it evenly with the beaten egg, carefully avoiding the dyed eggs. Sprinkle the dough with the nonpareil candies.
  8. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 40-45 minutes, until golden brown.
  9. Serve warm.