For my entire life, my mom has made Italian Easter Sweet Bread in the days leading up to Easter Sunday. She would make two loaves. One to serve on the holiday and the other for us to keep in the freezer, so we’d have some for later!
Every holiday always brings back memories from my childhood. But, nothing does that more than food. The smell of it, the taste of it and making it, always triggers nothing but good times.
This year was my first at making my own Italian Easter Sweet Bread. I enlisted the help of my 4-year-old and we spent an afternoon watching the dough rise.
Ingredients for bread:
- 5 cups of sifted flour
- 1 pinch of salt
- 3 eggs
- 1 cups sugar
- 1 tbsp. real vanilla extract
- 1 stick of butter melted and cooled
- 2 packages of dry yeast in 1 cup of water
- Milk (for egg wash)
Ingredients for frosting:
- 3-4 tbsp milk
- 1/2 cup of confectioner’s sugar
Melt your butter and set aside to cool. Next, beat your eggs and add the vanilla extract to the mixture and set aside. Then, in a measuring cup or a small bowl, activate your yeast packets. Finally, sift the flour and set aside.
Mix all the ingredients together to make the dough. You may need to add more or less water to it. It will be sticky and dense.
This next step is very old school, but it’s the way my family does it, so I didn’t want to break the rules!
Place dough in the oven to let rise for an hour and a half. Note: Do not turn the oven on. It’s just going to rise there.
Next, since we are making two breads, you’ll cut the dough in half.
Place a CLEAN dish towel over it and let it rise on the counter for another hour.
I know, I know, there’s a lot of dough rising happening here. Feel free to take a nap, go outside or eat a sandwich while you wait!
While using a pastry brush, paint some milk on the bread. Some people use an egg wash, too. Whichever you prefer works here!
OK, this is the last time, I swear. Put it back into the oven to rise. Again, don’t turn the oven on yet! Let it hang out and rise some more for another half an hour.
Now, let’s bake some bread! Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 -30 minutes.
Once it’s all done and out of the oven, put confectioner’s sugar frosting on while hot. Below is the consistency for the frosting. It will definitely be thin and runny. All you need to do is mix the milk with the sugar in a bowl.
Decorate with colored sprinkles if you’re in the mood, otherwise you can just leave it with the sugar glaze.
Now, give yourself a high-five and go finish that nap. Watching dough rise is no easy task!