Easter Bread was traditionally a Good Friday project in my Mother-in-law's house. She started the morning hard boiling her eggs and then dying them. After she finished her eggs, she started her Easter Sweet Bread. The difference from her weekly bread baking was that this bread was made with eggs and sugar. She would lessen the amount of water she used with her yeast and add the same fluid amount of eggs to the recipe.
This loaf of bread is not traditional Italian. Can you spot the error?
I pulled this picture from a yahoo search at http://images.search.yahoo.com/search/images?_adv_prop=image&fr=yfp-t-701&sz=all&va=italian+easter+bread. There is something wrong in that there are an even number of colored eggs on this loaf of Italian Easter Bread. I was taught by my husband that it is considered bad luck to have an even number of eggs in the bread. I normally put three eggs on my loaf but this is the shape of the loaf that I make. The link will take you to various types of Italian Easter Bread shapes that can be made.
|Yeast Dough ready to be kneaded down|
In order to make Easter Bread you need to start with your regular yeast bread recipe and then alter it for sweet bread. Where it calls for warm water and the yeast, you first remove about a cup of water. After the yeast has fermented into the water, replace the removed liquid with six eggs at room temperature.
|Braided Bread with colored eggs ready for the oven|
The whole Easter Bread recipe is made the same way as yeast bread except for the addition of the eggs and sugar. Some even add a drop or two of yellow food coloring but that is just for looks. Instead of normal loaves of bread, our family makes the braided loaf that is similar to the one above.
|Pan of oven baked Fritta or Frittata|
Traditionally, Easter Bread is made on Good Friday and then refrigerated because of the hard boiled eggs in it. This bread is not eaten before Easter Sunday. A loaf is taken out of refrigeration about an hour before the Fritta is ready in order to be eaten at room temperature with the traditional Easter Brunch.
We will talk about Fritta on another day. As always, "Munga" and "enjoy."