Grandma Rose's Italian Easter Bread 1947

"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...."
photo by SharonChen photo by SharonChen
photo by SharonChen
photo by andypandy photo by andypandy
photo by SharonChen photo by SharonChen
photo by Jopalis photo by Jopalis
photo by laura.l.machell photo by laura.l.machell
Ready In:
8 loaves




  • 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.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Barbara M.
    How long is the 2nd rise? Until it doubles each time?


  1. Jopalis
    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 4/7/2017 I do halve the recipe. Grandma Rose has 4 oz cake yeast. For half would be 2 oz cake yeast. This is equivalent of 6 3/4 tsp instant yeast. Link: Also instant yeast is often just mixed with dry ingredients.
  2. SharonChen
    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.
  3. Pietrina Elena
    Brings back wonderful memories of my childhood. Both of my parents were born in Sicily. I found myself searching through moms recipes frantically trying to learn to make the pastries and dishes that she did. Both of my parents passed away a year and 1/2 ago but they would be so proud of the things I've learned to cook. Never as good as they did, but my taste buds tell me I've come close. This is a great recipe and delicious!
  4. laura.l.machell
    I think this is a beautiful bread. It has great flavor and texture. I halved it and used 12 cups of flour. I probably could have gotten away with using a little less though or maybe I just baked it slightly more than it needed. I used 6 3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast. Braided it into four wreaths. Baked for about 30 minutes at 350°F. Definitely took forever to rise with that much dough. Will probably make again but definitely going to quarter the recipe. This would make great french toast if shaped into a loaf!
    • Review photo by laura.l.machell
  5. Smeagol slayer
    I really messed up on the recipe because it didn't rise a CM. Plus, I needed a lot more flour than I thought I would. These two combinations made a thick, heavy, dough and it wasn't nice to chew. However it tasted amazing and I wish I knew what I did wrong because it could've been the best bread I had. I've submitted a picture of my attempt- a warning to people on how not to make it.


Grandmother of two boys, great grandmother of one ...worked in hardware and construction for forty years, read all cookbooks, watch all cook shows on tv. like to cook all types of new recipes.
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