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Pane Di Pasqua - Italian Easter Bread

Pane Di Pasqua

Soft and  lightly sweet  Italian  Easter  Bread 

Course Bread
Cuisine European
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Rising Time 2 hours
Total Time 4 hours
Author Syama

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 - 4 C AP Flour / Bread Flour 400 g
  • 2/3 C Milk Full fat or Skim
  • 1/4 C Sugar
  • 1/4 C Butter Unsalted
  • 2 Eggs Large
  • 2 1/4 Tsp Active Dry yeast 1 pkt
  • 1/2 Tsp Fine Sea Salt
  • 1 Tbsp Orange/Lemon Zest Optional
  • 1 Tsp Anise/Almond Extract Optional

Egg Wash

  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Tsp Water

To decrate

  • Sprinkles / Sparkling Sugar / Pearl Sugar As Needed
  • Raw Dyed Eggs As Needed (4- 6)

Glaze

  • 1 C Icing Sugar
  • 1 - 2 Tbsp Water/Milk
  • 1/2 Tsp Vanilla Extract

Instructions

Bloom Yeast/ Make Quick Sponge

  1. Warm the  milk to 110°F or just  warm to  touch.   Make sure that  the  eggs  and  butter are at  room temperature. 

  2. Take 1 C flour and 1/4 C sugar in the mixing bowl. Stir to combine. Sprinkle the yeast on top and pour about 1/2 of the milk. Mix and set aside for 10 minutes. The mix would have visibly puffed up by then. 

Knead With Stand Mixer

  1. Add the remaining  milk ,  eggs , butter , salt  and   2 1/2  C flour  to the  bowl .  Attach the  dough  hook and  stir to combine  for  30 seconds. Increase  speed  to low  and  knead for 2  minutes  scarping  down the  sides  in between.  The  dough  will be   very sticky.   After  2  minutes  of  kneading if  the  dough is  still sticking  to the  bowl add the  remaining  flour.  Turn the  machine  back  to  knead  and  add the  essence  and  zest.  Knead  for  2  to  3  minutes. 

    Turn the  dough  out  to a   floured  work surface  and  knead  by hand  for  about 1  minute.  Form into a  smooth  ball. 

Knead By Hand

  1. Mix  flour , salt   and  butter  into a  pile  on  a  well floured  kneading  surface . Make  a  well in  the  middle  and  add  the  yeast mix . Beat  the  egg a  little and  add to the  mix.  Slowly  incorporate  the  flour  into the  wet  mix  in the middle  adding  as  much of  the  milk as  necessary.  Once  the  dough has  comes together  add  the   softened  butter , essence  and zest. Knead  for  about  10 minutes  until  the  dough  feels  soft and  elastic  and  visibly  shiny.  It  should  no longer  stick  to  the  surfaces. If  needed  add a  few  more  tablespoons  of  flour.

Bulk Proof / First Rise

  1. Place the dough in a greased bowl and turn it over once to coat all sides  with oil. Cover with plastic wrap (wet  towel or a  fairly tight lid) and allow the dough to rise in a warm place, about 1 hour  and 30 minutes.   

Shape and Rise

  1. Gently punch down  the  risen  dough to  deflate.  Transfer to a  floured  work surface and  pat  down  to a   thick rectangle. Divide into  12  even pieces. 

  2. Roll each piece to form a rope of about 14 to 16 inches in length. Take two ropes and twist them together. Loop the twist into a circle and interlace the ends and tuck them under. transfer the circle onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  

  3. If making the filled circles, pinch off a piece from the rope before connecting the ends. Roll the pinched piece into a ball and place in the center. 

  4. Cover with plastic wrap p and set aside to double in size , about 30 minutes. 

Bake

  1. Place  the  oven  rack in the  center.  Preheat the oven to 350°F (170°C).

  2. Beat 1 egg with 1 tsp of water to make the egg wash. Using a pastry brush brush the tops of the risen loaves. If not using the glaze sprinkle sugar or decorative sprinkles on top. Place the colored raw eggs in the middle of the risen circles. 

  3. Transfer to the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. 

  4. Transfer to a cooling rack.

Glaze (Optional)

  1. Mix the  confectioner's  sugar,  vanilla  extract  and  milk/water together to  form a  thick paste.  Drizzle  over  the  warm  loaves.  Decorate  with  sprinkles 

Recipe Notes