Italian Easter bread is a tradition in my house. The bread is made of a yeasted sweet dough with colored eggs nestled inside a circular two-rope braid.
Almost as eagerly anticipated as the coveted candy-filled basket, we would eat slices of it smeared with salty butter followed by the baked eggs. It was an Easter morning ritual that I still love to this day.
The bread is soft and tender, similar to brioche but without a ton of butter and sugar. A confectioners glaze goes over top with a smattering of colored sprinkles for festivity.
The bread is lightly flavored with anise seeds, candied fruits and almonds; if you don’ t like anise or candied fruit you can omit them and use fresh lemon zest and raisins or another dried fruit instead.
This was always baked ahead of time and marked as off limits until Easter morning. It was a true testament of our willpower to keep from cutting into it before then and something I recall as being torturous in nature. I’m surely exaggerating because childhood food memories are usually like that.