Easter Bread (source)
- 2/3 cup whole milk
- 5 tablespoons sugar, divided
- 1 3/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (from one 1/4-ounce envelope)
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces, room temperature, plus 1/2 tablespoon, melted
- a handful of Cadbury Mini Eggs (or any other candy-coated chocolates)
- Heat milk in a small saucepan over medium heat or in a microwave until an instant-read thermometer registers 110°–115°. Transfer milk to a 2-cup measuring cup; stir in 1 Tbsp. sugar. Sprinkle yeast over milk and whisk to blend. Let sit until yeast is foamy, about 5 minutes. Add 2 eggs; whisk until smooth.
- Combine remaining 4 Tbsp. sugar, flour, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add milk mixture. With mixer running, add 1/2 cup room-temperature butter, 1 piece at a time, blending well between additions. Mix on medium speed for 1 minute. Knead on medium-high speed until dough is soft and silky, about 5 minutes.
- Brush a medium bowl with some melted butter; place dough in bowl. Brush top of dough with remaining melted butter; cover with plastic wrap.
- Let dough rise in a warm, draft-free area until doubled in size, 1–1 1/2 hours.
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Punch down dough. Divide into 3 equal pieces. With lightly floured* hands, roll each piece on a lightly floured* surface into a 16-inch-long rope with tapered ends. (If dough begins to bounce back, cover with a kitchen towel and let rest for 10 minutes to allow dough to relax.)
- Arrange ropes side by side lengthwise on prepared sheet. Pinch top ends together. Braid dough. Pinch bottom ends together to secure (braided loaf will be about 12 inches long). Tuck candy coated eggs between braids, spacing evenly. Loosely cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel. Let rise in a warm, draft-free area until puffed but not doubled in size, 45–50 minutes.
- Arrange a rack in middle of oven; preheat to 375°. Whisk remaining egg with 2 tsp. warm water in a small bowl. Avoiding eggs, brush dough all over with egg wash. Bake until bread is golden and an instant-read thermometer inserted into center of loaf registers 190°, 20–25 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Have A Happy Easter!