Italian Easter Bread

    2 hours 50 minutes

    An Italian tradition to symbolise fertility. Sweet bread baked with whole shelled eggs in the centre then sprinkled with hundreds and thousands.

    6 people made this

    Serves: 6 

    • 1/4 cup (60ml) warm water
    • 1/2 cup (100g) white sugar
    • 7g dry yeast
    • 1 cup (250ml) scalded milk
    • 80g butter
    • 2 eggs, beaten
    • 1 pinch salt
    • 3 1/2 cups (440g) plain flour
    • 1 egg
    • 1 teaspoon water
    • 6 whole eggs in the shell
    • 70g hundreds and thousands

    Preparation:50min  ›  Cook:40min  ›  Extra time:1hour20min  ›  Ready in:2hours50min 

    1. Mix yeast, water and 1 teaspoon of the sugar in a small bowl and let sit for 10 minutes.
    2. In another larger bowl, mix milk, salt, butter, 2 eggs, and remaining 1/2 cup of sugar. Add about half of the flour and beat until very smooth. Pour in the yeast mixture. Add the remaining flour, making a stiff dough - can add additional flour if necessary.
    3. Place dough on a floured board and knead until smooth and elastic. Put dough into greased bowl, cover bowl and let the dough rise until doubled in size.
    4. Punch the dough down, place on a floured board and divide it into 6 equal pieces.
    5. Roll each piece with your hands to form a 3cm thick rope and then shape rope into a "U" shape. Put a whole, raw egg into the inside of the "U", twisting the rope to form a fishtail at the bottom.
    6. Brush each roll with the beaten egg, shake on some of the hundreds and thousands then place on a greased baking tray. Cover and let them rise until doubled in size. Bake at 180 degress C for about 35 to 40 minutes.

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    Reviews in English (4)


    This recipe worked beautifully! thank you for sharing it with us all, my family loved the taste! Buona Pasqua!  -  17 Apr 2017


    This is a very tasty bread. I loved the recipe. Perfect just the way it is. One reviewer had stated that the breads are not called pregnant dolls, I come from a traditional Italian family and my Grandmother refered to them as "a fertal Goddess" I think in reference to Spring being the time for new life. Which is why we have eggs for Easter. So all names lead to the same great bread.  -  08 Feb 2008  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)


    This sounds just like what I use to make but we called it a "Birds Nest". Still very tasty.  -  07 Mar 2009  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)