Grandma Rose was from Calabria Italy. We always had this at Easter time. Great for toast and really good for French Toast. Just eat with a dab fresh butter and a cup of coffee. If you braid it, you can put sugar cubes on top that will burst in the oven in those areas, That is how the Italian bakeries do the tops. Ours is plain....
- Scald whole milk and let cool, add in the yeast.
- Beat eggs, and juice, and zest.
- Beat sugar and butter until fluffy continue to beat well.
- Add the beaten egg mixture into the beaten sugar butter mixture.
- Combine with the cooled scaled milk , and yeast mixture.
- Combine well, add sifted flour, continue adding flour until a soft dough comes together.
- Turn out onto a table and knead until soft, not too sticky, 5- 10 minutes.
- Let double in a greased bowl, covered.
- Punch down and let rise again.
- Form into braids after second rising, or put into loaf pans.
- Let rise until almost doubled Bake 350 degrees, until golden, 20 minutes approximately.
- Note; the amount of flour can be anything from 8- 12 cups, or more. but add gradually until you have a soft slightly sticky dough -- where when touched your finger comes away tacky but not sticking to the bread board.Keep your dough soft not firm --.
- All depends on flour and humidity and how much juice from your oranges and lemons.
- Can braid and place under braiding but showing raw eggs white or already coloured, eggs will cook while baking, for an Easter morning delight.
- Directions on making the dough, can vary, as I have done the procedure in different ways, and now we can't get fresh compressed yeast in our stores, so I use active dry yeast, usually 2 tablespoons.
We loved this bread last Easter and will make it again. I cut the recipe in 1/2 and made 3 breads or combination breads with rosette rolls. Freeze some rolls for another time. I don't do the whole eggs baked in it. I used bread flour and 3 envelopes of rapid rise yeast. We braided it and formed a circle. Brushed it with egg wash and put on colored sprinkles. Bake til mostly has some golden color. Won't be golden all over. For presentation, we put green tinted coconut in the center and some colored Easter eggs and candies.... So yummy and pretty. A tradition in our house now! Thank you. My Sicilian husband loves it too.
Update Easter 2011...... Grandma Rose's recipe still lives on in our home. Our tradition now. Thank you sweet Italian lady wherever you are........ Buona Pasqua! xo
I halved this recipe to make 4 loaves of bread instead of 8. Loved the orange and lemon taste of it. Very yummy! Just be aware that it requires A LOT flour.
Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe! I have tried for years to make good Easter bread. I was ready to give up when I tried yours...it is delicious and as moist as any I have tasted. Happy Easter!