The Best Easter Bread Recipe

This recipe for Easter Bread is as simple as it is festive. This traditional bread has a flavorful braided dough formed into a wreath and is a delight to bake and give as a gift. A gorgeous addition to your Easter celebrations, this yeasted bread is soft, tender, and sweetened, and is adorned with colorful eggs and sprinkles.

Guests will love this festive Italian Easter bread, which is a slightly sweet yeast-leavened bread. This bread’s dough is thick, soft, and buttery like that of brioche or challah, but the preparation is much simpler. Most of the work is done by the stand mixer; all you have to do is braid the dough into a wreath shape.

The brightly colored eggs and sprinkles in this Easter bread recipe make it ideal for welcoming the arrival of spring.

Ingredients for this dish

  • For the best taste, use whole, full-fat milk. The milk should be warmed in advance. The yeast can only grow in lukewarm milk. Heat kills yeast, so be careful not to overdo it.
  • Always make sure your yeast hasn’t passed its expiration date. If the yeast has passed its expiration date, you should replace it with fresh yeast.
  • Eggs—there are going to be a lot of eggs involved in this dish. Only two of the eggs will be used in the actual making of the bread; the rest will be colored and hidden inside. Easter bread can be made with either white or brown eggs. It’s just as simple to change the color of a brown egg as a white one, though the resulting hue will be more muted and earthy.
  • The butter must be at room temperature before it can be creamed. When something is at room temperature, it is soft enough that pressing into it leaves a dent but not so soft that it is greasy or oily. Additionally, unsalted butter is required. Use unsalted butter because the salt content varies by brand.



  • ▢1 cup lukewarm whole milk (about 100°F/240ml)
  • ▢½ cup plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar divided (105g)
  • ▢1 packet active dry yeast (2¼ teaspoons/0.25-ounce/7g)
  • ▢4½ cups all-purpose flour plus additional for dusting (540g)
  • ▢2 teaspoons salt
  • ▢2 large eggs beaten
  • ▢⅓ cup unsalted butter cubed and at room temperature (76g)


  • ▢4 to 6 large eggs uncooked and dyed with food coloring (see Notes)
  • ▢1 large egg plus 1 teaspoon of water beaten
  • ▢sprinkles optional

Bread Instructions for Easter

  • In a small bowl, mix the yeast, 1 teaspoon of sugar, and the milk. Allow to sit for about 5 to 8 minutes, or until foamy. While that’s going on, grease a big bowl with oil.
  • Combine the flour, remaining 1/2 cup sugar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer outfitted with the dough hook. Combine the yeast with the two eggs. For about 5 minutes of low-speed mixing, you should have a very soft dough.
  • Raise the mixer’s speed to medium and incorporate the butter into the dough a little at a time (about a tablespoon at a time). Make sure each piece of butter is fully incorporated before adding more. Knead the dough on medium until it is smooth and elastic, after which you can stop. Place the dough in the greased bowl, cover it, and let it rise in a warm place for 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours, or until it has doubled in size.
  • Color the remaining eggs however you like.
  • Turn out the dough onto a floured surface after it has been punched down. Cut into three even parts. Make a rope that is 28 inches in length from each piece. Pinch the ends of the three ropes together and braid them together.
  • Arrange the braid in a circle on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper to create a braided wreath. Seal by pinching the two ends together.
  • Wrap the braided wreath with the colored eggs. Cover loosely and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes to an hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.
  • When the wreath has risen, brush it with the beaten egg and sprinkle the top. To achieve a golden brown, bake for 25-30 minutes. Place the bread on a wire cooling rack, parchment paper and all. Wait at least 30 minutes for serving after cooling.


  • The dough will appear very dry as you knead it (before you add the butter). Do not give in to the urge to add more milk. When you add the butter, the dough will become properly hydrated and come together.
  • You can speed up the mixing process by adding the butter to the dough from the bottom and center of the bowl.
  • Cover the gaping hole left by the egg over the pinched seam of the braid.
    The eggs don’t require an egg wash before baking.
  • A scale is essential for accurately measuring flour, in my opinion. Fluff your flour with a spoon, sprinkle it into your cups, and then level it off with a knife if you don’t have a scale. If you want an accurate measurement of flour, this is the way to do it. If you use too much flour, your Easter bread will be tough and dry.
  • You can skip prepping the eggs if you like; they’ll bake right along with the bread. A slice of Easter bread with the crumb exposed at an angle.



Extra bread, if stored in an airtight container or bag, can stay fresh for up to five days. If you want the eggs to stay in the Easter bread, put it in the fridge. The bread can be stored without refrigeration if the eggs are removed.


Leftover Easter bread can be stored in a freezer-safe bag for up to two months. Take out the eggs before putting them in the freezer.

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