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Braided Easter Bread Recipe

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Braided Easter Bread Recipe is tender, slightly sweet, vanilla scented bread that is perfect to serve at a holiday brunch. This braided Easter bread recipe creates such a tender loaf of homemade egg bread, everyone will scramble for the last piece.

photo shows half of a loaf of Braided Easter Bread on a white platter

Braided Easter Bread Recipe

When I decided to make a braided bread for Easter morning, my first thought was to plait in some dyed Easter eggs for a festive touch. Nick would be coming home for the holiday, but 16 servings would still take more than a couple days to disappear.  Plus, I was a bit concerned that those hard boiled eggs could go funky. So I nixed that addition.

slice of Braided Easter Bread on a square white plate with 2 pats of butter

Plaiting or Braiding Dough

I love braiding dough, but once again, pulling off a wreath gave me some pause. The last round, braided loaf I baked up was a Finnish Pulla. A bow made of dough covered the juncture where the 6 strands joined, nicely camouflaging the amateur finishing.  No such luck this time as a bow was apropos for Christmas, but not so much for Easter. I did my best and will admit to weaving and unweaving the strands a couple of times! I think it turned out OK. Definitely a massive loaf!

  • To make a 3 stranded braided loaf, divide your dough into three equal sized pieces using a kitchen scale. Do this after it has proofed for the first time.
  • Then roll each strand into a 24 inch rope. It should be the same diameter from one end to the other, though the ends can be tapered.
  • Line the 3 ropes on a lightly floured surface (only enough flour so the dough does not stick) side by side.
  • Usually I pinch the 3 ends at the top together when plaiting bread dough, but just have them touching for this bread.
  • If you can braid hair, this process will come more naturally, but here’s how I do it. Start with the strand on the right and cross it over the middle strand, landing it between the center strand and strand on the left. Next, take the strand on the left and cross it over the middle, having it land between the center strand and strand on the right. Go back and forth, from right to left, forming a long braid. You may need to do some tweaking as you go along so that there are not big gaps in the braid.
  • Once this process is done, you form a ring with your braid and try your best to join up the loose ends from each end of the braid. If you need to trim a little dough, that’s OK. I promise it will taste terrific even if it’s not picture perfect!
  • After the final rise, brush the dough with an egg and water glaze which gives the bread a wonderful sheen.
  • I sprinkled with coarse sugar, but you could use Easter colored sugar, sesame seeds, or leave it plain.
round loaf of braided Easter bread

How to Make an Easter Egg Bread Recipe

My kitchen filled with the yeasty scent of freshly baked bread as the braided Easter bread dough puffed up to it’s gargantuan size! When Bill declared his first slice was “ridiculously good,” I had  my verdict. Even with my haphazard connection of the strands, this slightly sweet Easter egg bread was a home run! And we’re making some awesome French toast with the leftovers.

P.S. If your family can polish this off in a day or two, feel to literally make this an Easter “Egg” Bread. Just tuck some hard boiled, colored Easter eggs into the dough after it’s braided. Let the dough rise and bake as directed. If the shells happen to crack, just call it a rustic loaf—that excuse works every time!

More Easter Bread Recipes to Try:

Braided Easter Bread pinterest text and photo collage

Items Needed to Make Braided Easter Bread:

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Braided Easter Bread Recipe

A braided Easter egg bread formed into a wreath. Dough recipe adapted from Allrecipes.com.

  • Author: Liz Berg
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 1 loaf or 16 servings 1x
  • Category: Bread, Holiday
  • Method: Mixing, Kneading, Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) instant yeast (I use Red Star Platinum yeast)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 to 6-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 11/2 cups milk
  • 6 tablespoons butter, cubed (plus extra to grease your bowl)
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • Sanding sugar, optional

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl or bowl of your mixer, mix sugar, yeast, salt and 2 cups of the flour.
  2. In the microwave, heat milk and butter to about 120 degrees (if it gets too hot, just let cool before adding). Add to dry ingredients and mix until the dry ingredients are incorporated. Add 3 eggs and vanilla then beat on high 2 minutes.
  3. Switch whisk for the dough hook. Mix in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough (dough will be sticky). Knead with the dough hook about 4-5 minutes or knead by hand up to 8 minutes.
  4. Place dough in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes.
  5. Punch down dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide into thirds (I weighed my pieces on a kitchen scale to divide evenly). Roll each portion into a 24-inch long rope. Place ropes on a parchment lined baking sheet and braid. Bring ends together to form a ring. Pinch ends together to seal.
  6. Cover with a light kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 375°.
  7. In a bowl, whisk remaining egg and water and carefully brush over dough. Bake 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. (If you’d like, at the halfway point, brush with more glaze to get any areas that have risen up from the heat).

Notes

Total time does not include proofing times.

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35 comments on “Braided Easter Bread Recipe”

  1. Liz, thanks for sharing this yummy bread perfect for this period of the year.
    Love

  2. Looks so inviting! The soft tender crumb and nicely golden crust remind me of heavenly Brioche.

  3. A family favorite! I just love making Easter bread you braided it perfectly! I always add anise flavoring to our and then grandma frosted it. This is perfect to toast later!

  4. Spectacular! This would be the star of any holiday table:@)

  5. This looks so delicious! Your braiding is perfect. I need to try this!

  6. You are a master weaver, Liz! What a gorgeous loaf. I have woven bread for a Portuguese sweet bread recipe I have. There is something amazingly beautiful about woven, risen dough. I def. need to try your beautiful recipe for Easter. xo

  7. This is so pretty! I’ve made a few braided loaves in my time but they never look as good as yours; mine always end up lopsided. I’m definitely itching to get in the kitchen and try this 🙂

  8. Baking goods for special occasions is indeed fun! I just got a nice and unique banana bread recipe from Katie of Good Life Eats (http://www.goodlifeeats.com/coconut-lime-banana-bread-with-lime-glaze) and an authentic Italian bread recipe from Nonna Box (http://blog.nonnabox.com/authentic-italian-bread-recipe/) a few months ago, and now your beautiful braided Easter bread. I’m really set for Easter baking now. Thanks so much for the recipe! 😀

  9. This looks amazing. Beautiful picture as well.

  10. Wow Liz, what a beautiful braided bread…and so perfect. This is indeed a perfect treat for Easter…beautifully done!
    Have a wonderful week 🙂

  11. This looks seriously amazing. I love everything about it!

  12. This is a massive, and gorgeous loaf. Love the vanilla in the dough. In our house this would last about 2 days!

  13. So pretty, Liz! Your braid is absolute perfection, as always! 🙂

  14. It’s absolutely outstanding, Liz. You did a great job and the texture looks wonderful. We’ve been invited to an Easter lunch so this is definitely on my list of something to bring.

  15. Can never resist bread! And what a neat loaf you’ve baked — this is beautiful! Love its shape, and I’ll bet the flavor is superb. Thanks!

  16. Stunning bread! Is there anything you can’t do? 😛 😉 Have a lovely day, Liz.

  17. Mouthwatering! Thank you for sharing!

  18. That bread is beautiful and would suit the best Easter table. I think I’ll give it a try.

  19. This is legitimately called Challah. It’s a Jewish yeast bread made for Shabbat. So no, not “Braided Easter Bread”. However, feel free to make it. Just…call it by what it’s meant to be called and stop stealing other religions ceremonial foods for your own.

    All the best,

    Your neighborhood Jew.

    • All sorts of cultures have braided egg breads (think Finnish Pulla)—and this one, especially baked with hard boiled eggs, is perfect for Easter. And it was also my understanding that challah should be made without butter for a kosher kitchen. So this really is NOT a true challah, just braided like one 🙂

  20. This bread is a show-stopper!

  21. ‘Tis a beauty! Love your gourmet curled butter bits, too =)

  22. How beautiful!!! Love how goldenlicious this Easter bread is… Wishing you a very Happy Easter, Liz!!!!!

  23. Wow. What a GORGEOUS loaf Liz!!! Of course, we should’ve expected this, from a pro baker like you:):):) Awesome bread. Really. Awesome.
    Thank you for a delicious alternative to the classic Greek tsoureki:)
    Hugs,
    Mirella and Panos

  24. I know you are a true professional in cooking but this is absolutely stunning beautiful job!

  25. This bread came out so delicious. Every year I try to make a similar one and the dough was hard and not rising. This poofed up right away and it was airy and fluffy! A definite keeper for Easter! Do you have a pizza dough recipe?

  26. Lovely! I always feel that baking bread is an form of art. It’s a way of expressing what we want to portray through the way we knead and form it.

    Thanks for sharing!

  27. Could Ii prepare this bread in a bread machine? It really looks good.

    • Janet, I wish I had an answer as it’s been years since I’ve used a bread machine. If you use yours a lot and are familiar with how and when to add the ingredients, I think it could work. Just look at the proportions compared to a successful bread machine recipe and if the amounts and ingredients seem comparable, you can use that as a guide. Sorry I couldn’t be of more help, but please come back if you try it, and let me know how it went.

  28. Pingback: Easy Beer Bread with Bacon Jalapenos and Cheddar

  29. This is such a gorgeous loaf of bread! So light and fluffy and it is braided so perfectly!

  30. Perfectly braided! I love Easter bread such a great tradition for the holiday! Just adds something a little special and it’s so fluffy!

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