Traditionally this bread was made on Holy Thursday.
Step 1: Ingredients
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon yeast
2/3 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
2 eggs, beaten
4-5 raw eggs, dyed if desired
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon milk
Step 2: Preparations
The eggs need to be raw, don't hard boil them. Also, dye your eggs to make the bread more colorful. If you have a few kids lying around, they come in really handy for this.
- In a large bowl or mixer, combine 1 cup flour, sugar, salt, and yeast; stir well. Combine milk and butter in a small saucepan; heat until milk is warm and butter is melted.
- Gradually add the milk and butter to the flour mixture; stirring constantly. Add the two beaten eggs and 1/2 cup flour; beat well. Add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring until all the flour is incorporated.
- Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
- I use instant yeast, so I don't need to proof it. You may need to.
- The dough will be sticky after it is mixed.
- I mix the dough in a kitchen aid mixer but I use my bread machine to let the dough rise in.
Step 3: Bread Machine Alternative
Step 4: Making the Braid
- Once the dough has doubled, deflate it and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into three equal size rounds; cover and let rest for 10 minutes.
- Roll each round into a long roll about 36 inches long and 1 1/2 inches thick.
- On a buttered baking sheet, form a braid with the dough, inserting the colored eggs as you go. Seal the end of the braid together.
- Wipe the dough with the egg wash and cover loosely with piece of saran wrapped sprayed with nonstick spray. On top of the saran, place a damp cloth.
- Place loaf in a warm place and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 300F (150C). Bake in preheated oven for 40 to 50 minutes, or until golden brown.
- How to braid.
- I wipe the eggs with a little oil to make them look shiny.
- I like to keep the long braid but a lot of people join the two ends to form a braided ring. It's up to you.
Step 5: The Finished Product
The bread is best right out of the oven.
If you don't eat the eggs right away, store them in the refrigerator.