Italian Easter Bread with herbs

Soft Easter bread with herbs

By 02/04/2014

After my visit to the sheep's centre with a full immersion in the dreamy British countryside surrounded by cute and fluffy newborn lambs I kind of had to come up with a "lamb-themed" recipe.

But no, definitely not a lamb roast dinner, at least not just yet after seeing those baby lambs in the fields! Instead I made bread, a soft bread made with milk and herbs and lamb shaped; good to share on the table for Easter Sunday lunch.

You don't need to be particularly skilled to make bread, it is easy. I mean really easy. It is mainly kneading the dough and let it rest long enough for it to rise and double in size. I have added oil but of course if you prefer you can use butter instead and choose any herbs you like. My favourite is rosemary but I have mixed them up this time for a true herbal flavoured bread.

  • Prep Time : 2 hrs 20 minutes
  • Cook Time : 25 minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

Make the dough by dissolving the yeast in some warm milk. Add the flour, one egg, oil and the remaining milk and salt. Work the dough with your hands to reach a smooth consistency. This will take about 10 minutes. Shape it into a ball and put it in warm place covered with a cloth for an hour.

combining ingredients

Wash and chop the herbs finely. Add the herb mixture to the dough then make 12-14 small and smooth balls.

adding herbs

Put the balls next to each other on a greased baking tray making the shape of a lamb, a bunny, a chick or any shape you like. Sprinkle some extra herbs on top. Let the bread rest for another hour covered with the cloth.

shaping them like a lamb

Beat an egg with 2 tbsp of brown sugar and brush the bread with it.

Cook at 200C for 25 minutes until golden.

soft Easter bread with herbs

soft Easter bread with herbs

I am very pleased to enter this into "Panissimo" a beautiful bread contest hosted twice a month by Barbara over at Bread and Companatico and Sandra at Sono io Sandra.

I have also submitted this to YeastSpotting.

Link up your recipe of the week

And last but not least this is going into the "Cooking with Herbs" challenge hosted by Karen over at Lavender and Lovage.

Cooking with Herbs Lavender and Lovage

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11 Responses to Italian Easter Bread with herbs

  1. Dottie Sauchelli Balin

    Dear Alida,

    Your post is so delightful! This is a perfect bread to place on an Easter lunch or brunch table. You are very talented to make the shape of this sheep. I love the combo of the herbs, and the egg wash with brown sugar is very different. Have never done that before. This may be a perfect bread to ask my nieces to make with me. Thy love to bake this bread with Aunt Dottie. I love the idea that you can shape it into anything you want. We will see, if we make it I will take a photo and send it to you. Good luck on entering this recipe in the contest. I would give you the blue ribbon for sure!

    Blessings Dottie 🙂

    • Alida

      Thank you Dottie! There are so many nice things to make now for Easter. I love this time of year more than Christmas time. If you decide to make it I would love to see the pic! Ciao!

  2. Francesca

    Ohh I remember this kind of bread as a kid around Easter! WE LOVE LAMB here, but I probably would have stuck to making something lamb-shaped after seeing a bunch frolicing around, too 🙂 *almost* buona pasqua!

  3. Mich Piece of Cake

    Oh wow that is such a beautiful bread! Love how you have shaped it!

  4. Karen

    This is an ABSOLUTE triumph Alida and I LOVE it! Thanks so much for adding this to Cooking with Herbs and what a fabulous post and recipe! Karen

    • Alida

      Thanks so much Karen!

  5. Louise

    Hi Alida:)
    What an adorable and seasonable bread you have baked, Alida. You are just so talented and awe inspiring:)

    I would never think to gather little balls of dough into a lamb shape. Just perfect for Easter. I’m glad you went with the rosemary. Rosemary and Lamb are such good “friends.” Thank you so much for sharing, Alida…

  6. Catherine

    Dear Alida, This is beautiful. It will look so pretty on the Easter table. Blessings dear. Catherine xo

  7. gloria

    I love this Easter bread.look beautiful!

  8. la cucina di Molly

    Ma sei bravissima, un’idea perfetta da preparare il giorno di Pasqua, complimenti! Un bacio!

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