Easter Bread

My cousin Darlene asked me if I had a recipe for Easter Bread and of course I do! So instead of just sending it to her I decided to share it with all of you. This recipe comes from Loretta Ricci Sellars. She lived next to my parents and was my second mother. She was a wonderful Italian lady and an excellent cook. I used to love sitting in her kitchen watching her prepare meals. She never seemed to follow a recipe, but everything always came out perfectly. She would just zip around the kitchen while the old radio was on in the corner, tuned to the Italian station out of Cleveland. I could sit there for hours watching her and listening to her stories of her youth growing up in Italy. The sounds and smells were heavenly and the food divine. Loretta taught me to love the art of cooking.
I hope you enjoy this recipe. It is pretty involved, but well worth the effort.
Enjoy and Happy cooking,

Ingredients :
12 cups of flour
2 1/4 cups sugar
8 eggs, room temperature
2 sticks butter
1 cup prepared mashed potatoes (can use instant) room temperature
4 pkg. dry yeast
1 tsp.salt
2-3 caps yellow food coloring
rind from 3 oranges
2 TBSP. anise seed
2 cups milk
2 1/2 cups additional flour for kneading
1 1/2 cups raisins, optional

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine yeast and 2 1/2 cups flour and set aside. Heat together milk, butte, sugar and salt until slightly hot, stirring occasionally. Add this mixture to dry mixture; beat 30 seconds with mixer. Add eggs and mashed potatoes. Beat at low-speed until blended and then beat on high-speed for 3 minutes. Add anise seed, food coloring, orange rind, and raisins. Stir by hand adding enough additional flour to make dough stiff. Turn dough out on a floured surface and knead 10 to 15 minutes. Adding flour if dough begins to get sticky. Place in a greased bowl; turn once to grease all of dough. Cover and allow to double in size (about 2 hours). Punch down. Divide onto 6 balls. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Cut each ball into 3 pieces. Roll into to strips and braid. Place in greased loaf pans. Let rise again for 1 hour.
Bake at 325 for 40-45 minutes.


4 thoughts on “Easter Bread

  1. I have to learn how to make Easter Bread. My mom said her mother use to make it every Easter. Unfortunately my grandma passed away when I was a toddler and my mom never saved the recipe. I’ll have to try your recipe and then experiment making a gluten free one for my son and my sister. Happy Easter Vonnie!


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