Easter Egg Bread
Serves: Makes 1 (12-inch) loaf
  • ¾ cup warm whole milk (105° to 110°)
  • 2 (0.25-ounce) packages active dry yeast
  • 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 8 large organic or farm-fresh eggs, divided
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 4½ to 5 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1 teaspoon whole milk
  • ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons cane syrup
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whisk together warm milk and yeast. Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add granulated sugar, 2 eggs, salt, and nutmeg to yeast mixture, and beat at medium speed until combined. With mixer on low speed, gradually add 2½ cups flour, beating until combined. Add butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until combined. Beat in vanilla and orange zest just until combined.
  3. Transfer dough to a large bowl; using a spatula or wooden spoon, stir in 2 cups flour until combined. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic, 5 to 7 minutes, adding up to remaining ½ cup flour if needed. (Dough should not be sticky.)
  4. Spray a large bowl with cooking spray. Place dough in bowl, turning to grease top. Loosely cover, and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°) until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  5. Lightly punch down dough. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes.
  6. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper; spray paper with cooking spray. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, and divide into three portions. Roll each portion into a rope about 26 inches long. Place strands vertically in front of you. Pinch 3 ends together at top. Braid ropes together until you’ve reached end of strands. Join ends together, forming a 12-inch circle; pinch ends to seal. Transfer to prepared pan.
  7. Gently tuck 5 eggs in shell between strands of dough. Cover and let stand in a warm, draft-free place (75°) until puffed, about 30 minutes.
  8. Preheat oven to 350°.
  9. In a small bowl, whisk together milk and remaining egg; gently brush onto dough, avoiding eggs in shell.
  10. Bake until golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted near center of bread registers 190°, 30 to 35 minutes, loosely covering with foil to prevent excess browning, if necessary. Let cool on pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan, and let cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes.
  11. In a small bowl, whisk together confectioners’ sugar and cane syrup until smooth; drizzle onto bread.
Although you may be inclined to cook the eggs for decoration before adding them to the bread, using them raw will result in perfectly cooked eggs by the time the bread is finished baking. You can also use dyed eggs for a more colorful presentation.
Recipe by Paula Deen Magazine at https://www.pauladeenmagazine.com/easter-egg-bread/