Italian Easter bread

Makes 1 loaf

Thu, Mar 22, 2018, 18:07

   
  • Makes: 1
  • Cooking Time: 3 mins
  • Course: Side Dish
  • Cuisine: Italian

Ingredients

  • 6 eggs for dying, plus 2 for the dough
  • Splash of white vinegar
  • Dash of food colouring
  • 425g plain flour
  • 1tsp salt
  • 70g caster sugar
  • 2tsp dried yeast
  • 2tbsp butter
  • 85ml milk
  • Hundreds and thousands or other sprinkles

Method

Begin by dying the eggs. Boil them until they’re cooked to your liking, then, while they’re still warm, put them in a bowl with water, a splash of white vinegar and a dash of food colouring. (You could experiment with natural dyes like turmeric, red cabbage, beetroot, matcha powder and onion skins.) Leave for a few minutes, until each egg is coloured enough.

Then put the flour, salt, sugar and dried yeast in a large mixing bowl and whisk gently to combine.

Gently heat the milk and butter in a saucepan until the butter has just melted. Leave to cool a little, until it’s at blood temperature. Create a well in the centre of the bowl and pour in the milk. Whisk the eggs and add to the liquid. Use a round-bladed knife to mix the wet with the dry until a rough dough forms. Tip on to a floured surface and knead until it comes together into a smooth dough. Cover with an upturned bowl and leave for an hour or so, until doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 200 Celsius. Divide the dough in half and roll into two 60cm-long ropes. Plait the lengths together loosely and then join the ends together to form a circle. Place on a greased tray. Tuck the eggs into the twists. Brush with egg wash – avoiding the coloured eggs, as the dye may bleed. Dust with sprinkles and leave to rest for 30 minutes before baking for 30-35 minutes.