Easter Bread

I’m being a bit cheeky with today’s post. Normally when I say ‘eating seasonally’, I mean according to what fruits and vegetables or even meats are ‘in season’. But there are foods that ‘go with’ certain holidays, like potato salad and Independence Day (for Americans),  turkey and Thanksgiving (or Christmas if you’re British), boiled eggs and Easter; so why not refer to an ‘Easter Season’?  I’m particularly fond of Easter Bread, which is nutritious and fun while making a break from chocolate, and is an attractive showpiece or twelve. And it’s not nearly as difficult to make as it looks.

picture of author with braided bread wreath and baskets of 'Easter bread'

Braided wreath and baskets of ‘Easter bread’

I’m also cheating, in that I’m giving you the original recipe, without any modifications of my own. I cut out this recipe from an American Girl (Girl Scouts) magazine circa 1975, and have made it a few times since, though not always with the same dough recipe. You can use any bread dough, though I would recommend a sweet bread dough–one which includes both dairy and sugar in the list of ingredients, like a brioche or pain viennois, to make it special.  Adjust times and temperatures to your bread dough recipe, but take guidance based on the size of the shapes you’re making and the need to have fully cooked eggs in the end. Be aware that the baskets take less time than the wreath in the oven, but if your oven temperature is too low or time too short, the eggs won’t be fully cooked.

So, with due reference to the editors of American Girl*, here is their basic recipe (Just click on the image and it will pop up in its own window, nice and clear to read. Click on the back arrow to come back to this page.):

picture of recipe for Easter Bread

Note the last two sentences of the recipe: Once your dough has done its initial raising, choose whether to use 2/3 of it for a wreath and the remaining 1/3 for 4 baskets OR to use it all for 12 baskets.

Here’s a picture of how to construct the wreath:

Visual steps to making Easter Bread wreath

And a picture of how to construct the baskets:

Visual steps to make Easter Bread baskets

And the wordy explanation of both, together with baking instructions:

Picutre of verbal instructions for shaping and baking Easter Bread wreath and baskets

A word to the wise: It is VITAL to grease your raw eggs before putting them in the proving dough, and if you forget then, you absolutely MUST grease them before baking. (Obviously, you only get one chance with the baskets.) It would be a shame to be unable to eat every last bit of your lovely bread because eggshell was irretrievably baked onto it. Says the voice of experience!

*If you have access to the copyright, please let me know so I can properly get permission to use this recipe in the public domain! I promise I am not making any profit from it.


I'm an American living in the UK, combining rural Mid-west ideas about food with a suburban coastal British reality. It's fun!

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Posted in Eating seasonally, Holidays, Recipes
2 comments on “Easter Bread
  1. Tara says:

    I am going to try this at some point. We bought a bread maker at the thrift store a year or so ago to make our own bread. But I never liked it. The crust was too hard and the loaves were small. I have been wanting to try it the traditional way. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Glad you’re inspired to try again!


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Sharing a lifetime of experience of kitchen challenges. Respecting food and making the most of what's available. Read more on my About page.
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