Easter Bread


Make this festive bread—a tradition in Greek and Italian households—the eye-catching and delicious centerpiece for your Easter brunch.

Hands On Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
4 hrs
Makes 1 (10-inch) loaf

Our Easter bread is similar to a brioche or challah, but with a twist: We stuff orange zest and rum-soaked dried fruit into each strand of dough. If you're looking for some Easter activities for kids, have them help braid the bread and brush on the egg wash, which gives the bread its deeply golden crust.

If braiding isn’t your strong suit, don’t sweat: You can always flip the loaf over after you’ve connected the two ends for a tidy finish. The dyed eggs add a fun pop of color, but they can be removed before slicing into the bread. We suggest serving it warm from the oven at Easter brunch.


  • cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled, plus more for work surface

  • ¼ cup granulated sugar

  • teaspoons instant yeast (one ¼-oz envelope)

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 large egg yolk

  • 3 large eggs, divided

  • ½ cup whole milk

  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter

  • zest of 1 orange (about 1 tablespoon, packed)

  • cup dried apricots, finely chopped

  • cup raisins or golden raisins

  • ½ cup dark rum

  • 3 hard-boiled eggs, dyed


  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, yeast, and salt. Set aside.

  2. Add the egg yolk and two eggs to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough attachment. Whisk gently to combine.

  3. In a small saucepan set over low heat, warm the milk and butter until the butter is just melted. Remove from heat, let cool slightly. Add to the eggs and whisk to combine.

  4. With the mixer on low, gradually add the flour mixture. Knead until a smooth ball forms and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 5 minutes. If the dough is too sticky to handle, add more flour one tablespoon at a time.

  5. Transfer dough to a lightly-oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set in a warm, draft-free place to rest until doubled in size, 1½ to 2 hours.

  6. Meanwhile, combine apricots and raisins in a small bowl and then add the rum. Soak fruit until ready to use.

  7. When the dough is ready, drain the fruit and set it aside. Lightly flour a work surface, and then separate the dough into three equal pieces. Sprinkle the first piece with flour, and then roll into a 12-by-4-inch rectangle. Sprinkle ⅓ of the orange zest down the left side of the rectangle and spoon ⅓ of the fruit on top. Roll the rectangle lengthwise into a log, tucking the fruit mixture under as you go. Pinch the ends shut. Repeat with the remaining two pieces of dough.

  8. Using the palms of your hands, gently roll each length of dough into a 24-inch rope. Pinch one end of the ropes together, braid the strands tightly, and then bring the ends together to form a ring. Pinch the ends to seal and transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet.

  9. In a small bowl, whisk the remaining egg until lightly beaten. Brush half of the beaten egg all over the braided dough, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside to rise until puffed but not doubled in size, about 50 minutes.

  10. Heat oven to 350°F. Remove the plastic wrap, brush the remainder of the egg over the dough, and nestle the dyed eggs into the loaf. Bake until deeply golden brown, 28 to 33 minutes.

    Easter Bread
    Grace Elkus

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

310 Calories
9g Fat
40g Carbs
9g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Calories 310
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 9g 12%
Saturated Fat 5g 23%
Cholesterol 145mg 48%
Sodium 290mg 13%
Total Carbohydrate 40g 15%
Total Sugars 10g
Protein 9g
Calcium 46mg 4%
Iron 3mg 17%

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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