Italian Easter Bread
 
Ingredients
For the Bread:
  • 4 c. flour
  • ¼ c. sugar
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • ⅔ c. low fat warm milk
  • 2 T. butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ c. craisins
  • ½ c. pecans, chopped
For the egg wash:
  • 1 egg
  • 1 T. water
For decorating:
  • 6 decorated Easter eggs
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl combine 1 cup of flour, the sugar, salt, and yeast. Mix well with a spoon.
  2. Add in the warm milk and softened butter and mix until totally combined.
  3. Add in the eggs and 1 cup of flour and continue to mix until totally combined. At this point stir in the craisins and pecans and mix well.
  4. Slowly add in the remaining flour a half cup at a time, stirring well after each addition until a soft dough forms.
  5. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5-7 minutes. Roll the dough into a ball, rub it lightly with oil, and place it in a bowl. Cover with a kitchen towel and allow to rise for 1½ hours or until it has doubled in size.
  6. Remove the dough from the bowl and punch it down. Divide it into 3 pieces, each 18 inches long. Begin braiding the bread loosely, tucking under the edges. Cover with a kitchen towel and allow to rest for 30 minutes.
  7. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  8. Make the egg wash by combining one egg with the water and beating well.
  9. Place the braided bread on a large cookie sheet and lightly brush with egg wash being careful that none of the egg goes onto the pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the bread is golden brown.
  10. Remove the bread from the oven and immediately place the hard boiled eggs in the "holes" where the braided bread meets. Push down firmly so that the eggs will stay in place.
  11. Remove the bread to a wire rack and cool completely.
Notes
Source: Shop Girl
Recipe by Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks at https://www.hezzi-dsbooksandcooks.com/2014/04/italian-easter-bread-sundaysupper.html