Nonni's Italian Easter Bread

Ingredients (bread):

  • 3 1/4 C flour, lightly spooned into a cup
  • 1/4 C sugar
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 2/3 C milk
  • 2 T melted butter
  • 2 eggs (room temperature)
  • 1/4 C diced candied fruit (if you don’t care for these, substitute with regular dried fruits such as cranberries, raisins, chopped apricots, etc.)
  • 1/4 C chopped almonds
  • 1/2 t. anise seed
  • 5 raw eggs in the shells

Ingredients/instructions (frosting):

  • 1 C powdered sugar
  • blend with 4 tsp of milk
  • multicolored nonpareils (round sprinkles)

Instructions (bread):

  • Combine one cup of the flour with the next three ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  • Add the milk to the butter and then gradually add that mixture to the dry ingredients
  • Beat with an electric mixer at low speed for two minutes, occasionally scraping the sides of the bowl as you go.
  • Add the first two eggs and half of the cup of flour.
  • Gradually stir in just enough flour to make a soft dough that separates from the side of the bowl.
  • Knead for five to ten minutes
  • Place dough in a greased bowl, turning it around to grease all sides.  
  • Cover and let dough rise until doubled in size.
  • Combine fruits, almonds, and anise seed.
  • Punch down dough and knead in the fruit mixture.
  • Divide dough in half and roll each piece into a 24” rope.
  • Twist ropes loosely together and shape into a ring on a greased cookie sheet.
  • Arrange unshelled eggs into the empty spaces created.  
  • Cover and let rise until doubled.
  • Bake at 350º for 30-35 minutes
  • Remove to rack & cover with towel.
  • When completely cooled, frost and sprinkle with nonpareils.