Grandma Victoria's Easter Bread Recipe

In our family, Palm Sunday started off the Holiday for Easter, with a blessing from grandma Victoria. Grandma would take the palms, dip them in holy water, splash all of us in the face and bless us. She had so much cooking going on, the stove and oven were both loaded up. Artichokes, chicken soup, sauce, braciole,sausage, meatballs, we usually had lasagna and leg of lamb when they could afford it along with many cookies and desserts. The night before she would make this dough, let it rise overnight, and in the morning, start making, braids, rings, crosses, to give to all her catholic lady friends and for us kids. We would all have the boiled egg in the center of ours. Boy if she ever knew I use to go hide them, never liked the yolks when I was a kid they were so dry, it didn't change when I grew up.

The kids loved the frosting, I like my toasted or straight out of the oven loaded with real butter~

I loved the smell of the aroma of this bread, sweet anisette all over the house would just hit you in the face when you walk through the door

It was so much easier to just braid the bread, brush with egg yolks and in the oven it went done. No boiled eggs for me this particular year.

Easter is incredibly important in Italy this time of year and I would love to be there, even with all the major traffic jams. We still have family that lives there, and can't wait to visit them. Here is a little background of what they have told me.
Easter in Italian is “Pasqua,” and it’s a time of religious parades and celebrations. These processions often have as their focus statues of Jesus or the Virgin Mary which are carried through the city streets by participants. One of the largest and most famous processions is in the city of Enna in Sicily on Good Friday, where more than 2,000 friars parade through the city. One of the oldest Good Friday processions takes place in the Abruzzo city of Chieti.
Of course, because Italy is such an overwhelmingly Catholic's you’ll find the majority of them head to St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. For some more personal and local traditions, Catholic priests throughout Italy will stop by private homes and shops in order to bless them for Easter.
Buon Pasqua~

Grandma Victoria's Easter Bread

She always doubled this recipe

1 package of dry yeast
6 egg yolks
8 1/2 tablespoons of sugar
1/2 cup oil
3 1/2 to 4 cups of flour
3 teaspoons anise extract 
1 egg beaten for the top to brush top with
Colored and Boiled Easter Eggs

We make this recipe every year. Grandma and Mom made various shapes, birds nests, bunny shapes and egg shapes We still do the same. We boil and color Easter eggs first then are placed in the center adding strips of dough to hold the egg in place. The dough is then risen until doubled and baked. When cooled you can frost them or leave them plain. 

Directions to make dough:  Soften yeast in ⅓ cup warm water. Mix eggs, anise flavoring and oil with yeast in a large industrial size bowl and use a dough hook with an electric mixer. Add sugar then the flour one cup at a time , a soft dough will form. Cover and let rise overnight with a light film of oil and plastic wrap over the bowl. Set in warm, not drafty place. This dough can now be formed into animals, braids, set the boiled colored eggs into the dough using a strip of dough to hold them in place. Place the breads on a greased cookie sheet or lined with parchment paper. Let rise again until doubled in size. Brush with beaten egg before baking. Bake at 375 degrees until nicely browned. Cool the breads on the cookie sheet. We love this bread toasted, so I never frost every loaf.. If you want to frost them use around 2 cups of powdered sugar mix with milk to a thin consistency, frost the breads then sprinkle with nonpareils colored candy or jelly beans This bread freezes well also.


Tania said...

It looks the Easter Bread that my maternal grandmother called "Tortano", a typical bread of her country. Great recipe!

Rachel J said...

Very beautiful! Reminds of of honey balls AND Easter breads. My mom did a yeasty anise bread bread with the colored eggs every Easter, and its a wonderful childhood memory of mine. Happy Easter <3

Danielle said...

What a wonderful bread and an even better way to always have your grandmother with you!

redkathy said...

Gorgeous bread Claudia. Great tribute to your grandmother. Hope you have a wonderful, Blessed Easter.

alison said...

wonderful post,claudia!i made yesterday our traditional easter bread,the same recipe like yours but with a filling with cocoa and you,that bread remind me by my granny ,a beautiful soul.(my granny had a aunt in italy but i lost the contact with relativ from there since '80 years.)

Federica said...

Your Grandmather's Easter bread is wonderful. Happy Easter :X

MaryMoh said...

That's such a beautiful Easter bread. Love the soft texture. I bet it taste awesome. Happy Easter, Claudia!

The Lonely Radish said...

Great texture:)

kathyvegas said...

What is it about those little multicolored sprinkles that everyone loves? I love this bread toasted in the morning with a big gob of butter on it for breakfast. What a classic!

Cinnamon-Girl said...

What a beautiful Easter Bread! Happy Easter!

Linn @ Swedish Home Cooking said...

Isn't grandma just the best? Mine has a lot of delicate recipes too :) I just started an online cooking show, Swedish Home Cooking. Please check it out! I stared making grandmas blueberry pie in one of them..See how it went!

Trix said...

Ah, the number 1 foodbuzz bread! no wonder!! Your bread is beautiful.

LaDonna said...

Neat article - I've been trying to find my Nona's recipe since she never wrote anything down and her Easter bread is one of those lost recipes. My question for you is - do you put the hard boiled egg IN the dough? My Nona did and then it was a tradition to try and cut thru it (I think it was supposed to mean luck for the person who cut thru the egg). Anyway, I'm just curious because if you make your bread the same way, then this recpe is probably pretty close.

The Tablescaper said...

YOur Easter bread looks so good. I think I'm drooling. Great to have you be a part of Seasonal Sundays.

- The Tablescaper

Susan said...

That Easter bread looks good enough to eat! LOL

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

The bread looks amazing and what special memories-enjoy:@)

Pattie @ Olla-Podrida said...

This looks delicious! I love the idea of being able to make it into different shapes. Fun!

Kim - Liv Life said...

Memories of food are always so special, especially when you can create them yourself and feel all of the emotions again.
My kids would LOVE this bread with my daughter being partial to the frosting and sprinkles. I'm somewhat partial to the pic by the pool!
Well done!
Happy Spring!