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5 from 1 vote

Traditional Italian Easter Bread

This Traditional Italian Easter Bread is a soft sweet brioche dough formed into wreaths or braided then topped with coloured eggs & sprinkles.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Rising Time6 hrs
Total Time40 mins
Course: Bread and Pizza, Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: brioche bread, Italian Easter bread, sweet bread
Servings: 4 breads
Calories: 503kcal
Author: Rosemary Molloy / An Italian in my Kitchen



  • 1 3/4 cups +2 tablespoons all purpose flour (250 grams)
  • 1 pinch salt
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar (40 grams)
  • 1/4 cup lukewarm milk (I used 2 % milk) (60 grams)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2 eggs (room temperature) (slightly beaten)
  • 1/2 cup butter (room temperature) (100 grams)


  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk


  • 2-4 eggs (uncooked and dyed whatever colour you like)
  • 2-4 tablespoons sprinkles* (if desired)



  • In the bowl of a stand up mixer whisk together the flour, salt, zest and sugar, make a well in the centre and add the milk and yeast, mix together with a fork, them add the slightly beaten eggs.
  • With the dough hook attachment knead for approximately 1 minute just to combine. Cover the bowl with plastic and let rise 2 hours, every 30 minutes fold both ends into the middle (repeating 4 times).
  • When the time as passed add the butter a little at a time at medium high speed with the dough hook, combine, then let the dough rest 10 minutes. Knead again until smooth and does not stick to the side of the bowl (approximately 5 minutes). Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
  • Move the dough to a lightly floured flat surface. Divide the dough into 4 parts. Roll each part into 2 ropes (15 inches / 40cm),  join the ropes at the top and twist the ends one over the other (see photo), join the ends to form a wreath (circle) repeat 4 times. Place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet, let rise in a warm draft free area for 1-2 hours or doubled in bulk.
  • 15 minutes before rising time has finished pre heat oven to 390F (200C).


  • In a small bowl beat together the egg and milk.
  • Add a dyed uncooked egg (if desired) to the centre of the wreath then brush the wreaths with the egg wash (be careful not to brush the eggs) and sprinkle with the sprinkles. Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until golden, or when tapped on the bottom and there is a hollow sound. Let cool before serving. Enjoy!


*I used nonpareils and not jimmies, these are the tiny round rainbow coloured balls used for decorating.


Calories: 503kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 185mg | Sodium: 271mg | Potassium: 167mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 900IU | Calcium: 55mg | Iron: 3.2mg