Easter Bread in a Bread Machine
This is the bread I used to eat on every Easter morning as a child. When I moved to the United States, I missed it so much that I had to recreate the recipe. It is not an easy bread to make because the dough needs a lot of kneading and rising. Therefore, I simplified this recipe by making this Easter bread in a bread machine.
What if you don’t have a bread maker?
Don’t worry I’m going to provide a guide for those of you who don’t have this machine. You still have to follow the steps, but you need to do the job of the bread maker on your own. Start by combining the ingredients in the order I described in the recipe. You need to add them in a deep bowl and knead using your hands until you create a well-formed dough. Once your dough is ready, butter the sides of the bowl and cover the dough with a towel or plastic wrap and allow it to rise for at least an hour. After it is doubled its size, you need to knead it one more time and leave it to proof for another hour.
Next form one big loaf or two small ones and brush the egg wash top. Follow steps 13 through 16 from the recipe. Then pat yourself on the back because you deserve some appreciation after all this hard work.
Unfortunately, no substitutions will work for this recipe. This dough needs whole milk and butter to create the most irresistible texture and flavor. The crust of this Easter bread is golden, caramelized and crunchy and the inside is pillowy and soft. It is so irresistible when it is still slightly worm from the oven. I make it only for Easter because I know that I can’t stop myself from overeating when I have it available.
Keep the Easter bread covered in a bread box or in a cake stand for 2-3 days. It gets stale fast, but when that happens, I love to dunk it in milk or coffee. Believe me it is to die for!
Easter Bread in a Bread Machine
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup lukewarm whole milk
- ¾ cup sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 cups flour or as much as you need to form a dough
- 1 ½ Tbsp dry yeast
- 2 Tbsp whole milk (for the egg wash)
- 4 Tbsp melted butter
- 1 tsp salt
- the zest from one lemon
- extra sugar, nuts, dried fruit (for sprinkling over the bread)
- Crack two eggs and add them to the bread machine basket. Separate the third egg and place the egg white in the bread machine basket. Place the egg yolk in a small bowl.
- Add two tablespoons of whole milk to the bowl with the egg yolk. Stir until combined, cover the bowl and put it the refrigerator. That is going to be your egg wash.
- Add 1 cup slightly warm milk (around 110F), ¾ cup sugar, and the vanilla extract in the mixing container of the bread machine with the eggs.Then add 3 cups of flour, 1 teaspoon salt and the dry yeast.
- Close the lid and chose the dough program on your bread maker. Then press start.
- Once all the ingredients are well combined and the dough starts to come together gradually add the rest of the flour (1 cup). The dough should be in a firm ball and it shouldn’t be sticky. If it is sticky add a little more flour.
- While the dough is kneading add the melted butter one tablespoon at the time. Wait until each tablespoon of butter is incorporated into the dough before you add the next one.
- When all the butter is absorbed add the lemon zest and close the lid. My program kneads for 30 minutes and proofs the dough for one hour. Run the dough program until the very end.
- Then start the dough program one more time. The Easter bread needs a lot of kneading and rising in order to create the perfect texture.
- Once the dough program ends for the second time remove the dough on a slightly flowered surface and divide it to two equal parts.
- Grease two loaf pans. You can line them with parchment paper too.
- You can place the dough as is into the two loaf pans or improvise with their shape. I like to form a braid or to make a roll filled with jam and dried fruit.
- Once you formed the breads and placed them into the loaf pans remove the egg wash from the refrigerator and brush it on the tops of the breads.
- Sprinkle with sugar, dried fruit and nuts if you like.
- Place the loaf pans in a slightly warm oven (around 110 F). Proof the loafs for 30-40 minutes or until doubled in size.
- Once the Easter breads are proofed start to preheating the oven to 355 F while keeping the loafs inside.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes. Cool down on a cooling rack.