Chef Gianluca Deiana Abis: Pane Di Pasqua/ Italian Easter Bread
Prep. time: 2 Hours 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minute Difficulty: 2 out of 5 Serve: 6
1 ¼ cups of milk
⅓ cup unsalted butter
1 package of instant yeast
⅛ teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup of granulated sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
4 cups all-purpose flour, divided, plus more for kneading
1 large egg, beaten
3 dyed easter eggs
In a small sauce pan, add milk and butter. Heat to 120 to °F, stirring until the butter melts.
In a large mixing bowl, combine yeast, sugar and salt. Add the eggs and whisk together. Add the milk and butter mixture. Add 2 cups of flour.
Mix it well. Scrape the sides with a spatula as needed to incorporate the flour. Slowly add the remaining 2 cups of flour and start kneading. Knead until the dough is stiff and slightly sticky, about 15 minutes, adding a little more flour to prevent sticking. Do not use more than ¼ cup of flour. Shape dough into a ball, cover with a dish towel and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
Divide into six pieces. Roll each piece to form a 1-inch wide rope, about 14-inches long.
Taking two pieces, braid the rope, pinching the ends together and then loop into a circle. Make sure the ends are securely joined together.
Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet (two per sheet), providing enough room to rise.
Cover the baking sheet with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm area, until it doubles in size, about one hour.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Whisk together the large egg. Brush each braided bread with the egg wash.
Gently place one dyed egg in the center of each braided ring. Do not press into the dough, it will sink as it bakes.
Bake one tray at a time until golden brown, approximately 18-20 minutes.
if you like, you can add sprinkles and raisins. The added pop of colors not only makes the finished product look beautiful, but it also adds just a touch of extra sweetness to each bite.