Pane pasquale (Italian Easter bread)

    3 hours 30 min

    This is the recipe for a classic Italian Easter bread. It's traditionally plaited and decorated with hard boiled eggs, plain or coloured. A stunning centrepiece for your Easter table.

    2 people made this

    Serves: 8 

    • 770g strong white bread flour
    • 100g caster sugar
    • 14g dried active baking yeast
    • 250ml milk
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 4 eggs
    • 125g butter, room temperature
    • 1 egg mixed with 2 teaspoons water, for brushing
    • 3 hard boiled eggs, to decorate

    Prep:30min  ›  Cook:30min  ›  Extra time:2hr30min curing  ›  Ready in:3hr30min 

    1. Place flour, sugar, yeast, milk, salt, eggs and butter in a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook.
    2. Start the mixer on speed 1 and mix for 3 minutes. Then, turn to speed 2 and mix for 8 minutes or until you reach a soft but compact dough. If you don't have a stand mixer, knead vigorously will your hands for 10 minutes until you reach a smooth and soft dough.
    3. Cover in cling film and chill overnight in the fridge for a well risen bread. Otherwise, place in a warm place, like the oven with the light on, for 2 hours.
    4. Once risen, divide dough into 3 equal sized balls and let stand for 10 to 20 minutes.
    5. Roll each ball into a snake. Make a loose plait with the 3 snakes so the dough has room to rise without losing its shape. Transfer to a lightly greased ring cake mould and pinch the edges to seal. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise for 90 minutes to 2 hours.
    6. Preheat the oven to 200 C / Gas 6.
    7. Brush the bread with the egg and water. Then, bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes or until soft and well risen.
    8. Remove from the oven and let the bread cool completely. Decorate with the eggs, placing in the middle, and serve.

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