Individual Italian Easter Bread with eggs

Individual Italian Easter Bread with eggs

By 09/03/2016

A few years ago I baked an Italian Easter Bread with encased eggs. It was a real success and instead of making plain bread I made it more like a sweet brioche consistency with butter and eggs.

This time I have made something similar but individual little nests with coloured eggs, very festive and cute! If you wrap them up nicely in a clear bag with a nice ribbon they would make a nice gift for Easter.

I have tried making them with chocolate eggs as well. I chose eggs with a sugary coating so that the chocolate inside would not melt during cooking, although for some of them the sugary coating cracked but they were perfectly edible and pretty anyway. You need to make sure you press them well into the dough to avoid them falling off during cooking.

You can also make them with hard boiled eggs and if you like you can colour the eggs naturally. I coloured mine with beetroot. I cooked raw beetroot for about one hour in water (and then I had it for lunch), I kept the cooking water and added 2 tbsp of vinegar (it helps setting the colour). I hard boiled the eggs and then dipped them into the liquid and left them there overnight. Their shell turned red in colour; Then I left them out to dry on a plate.

You can do the same using turmeric for yellow, spinach water for green and red cabbage for blue. For pastel coloured eggs use eggs with a white shell (I used ordinary brown egg shells). After the bread is cooked you can polish the egg shells with a little oil for a shiny effect!

This brioche bread is quite low in sugar which makes it OK as a savoury or as a sweet treat. In Italy it is very popular, the bread is eaten at Easter with the hard boiled egg and possibly with a slice of salami or two.

Eggs will almost always be present on the Easter table as they signify a new life. For Christians the egg is a symbol of resurrection, as when they are cracked open they represent the empty tomb of Jesus.

I so much enjoyed making these!

  • Prep Time : 45 minutes
  • Cook Time : 20 minutes
  • Yield : 10



Make the dough by mixing the flour with the eggs, yeast, sugar, vanilla essence, lemon zest, salt, lukewarm milk and softened butter.

making brioche dough

Work with your hands (or use a processor) for 10 minutes until you get a smooth consistency. The dough should not be sticky, if it is add a little more flour and knead again.

working dough

Form a ball and let it rest in a warm place covered by a cloth or cling film for 2 hours or until it has doubled in size.

brioche dough raising

Put the dough on a lightly floured surface and work it again with your hands for a couple of minutes. Cut the pastry into 10 pieces, cut each piece in half and roll them out with the palms of your hands to form cylinders about 22 cm or 9 inches long.

rolling dough

Pinch one end and twist two cylinders together then join the ends to form a ring leaving a small opening in the middle.

twisting dough

Place 3 chocolate eggs on each ring. Make sure you press them well into the dough.

Let them rest for another hour in a warm place covered with a cloth.

Italian Easter bread with chocolate eggs

You can also do the same using coloured hard boiled eggs and place one egg inside the ring. If you like you can make braids instead using 3 cylinders of pastry instead of 2.

hard boiled eggs nest

Brush them with milk and sprinkle them with coloured sugary sprinkles.

Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes or until golden at 180C or 350F.

Italian Easter bread with chocolate eggs

Italian Easter Bread with chocolate eggs

Italian Easter Bread with hard boiled eggs

Check out my Italian Easter bread with herbs too!

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18 Responses to Individual Italian Easter Bread with eggs

  1. Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy

    These are so cute! I think they are something that my 4 year old niece would really enjoy making with me too.

    • Alida

      Yet it is great for children, mine absolutely loved them!

  2. la cucina di Molly

    Carinissime e buone queste ciambelle di pane, fanno parte della nostra tradizione italiana, complimenti sono belle e perfette per addobbare la tavola di Pasqua! Buona giornata, baci!

    • Alida

      Le fai anche tu? Si fanno piu’ al sud che al nord. Io le adoro!

    • Alida

      Thank you Angie!

  3. Susan

    These are so cute. I live in a community with a high Italian population, and I see these Easter breads in stores around the Easter season. I always admire them, but I have never tried them. This year, if I’m ambitious, I can try making them. I really like the looks of them in miniature.

    • Alida

      They are quite straightforward to make. You just need to let the dough rest for a bit. They are also fun to make and very festive.

  4. Cherished By Me

    They look beautiful! What a great centre piece for Easter.

    • Alida

      Thanks Nova!

  5. Louise

    Oh how adorable, Alida. I didn’t know these could be made with candy eggs. What a sweet treat for the kiddies, lol…

    Thank you so much for sharing, Alida…Pinning:)

    • Alida

      Thank you Louise! It was an experiment using chocolate eggs. I was worried they would melt during cooking but they didn’t as long as they are candied.

  6. Elisabetta

    What a lovely post Alida. It’s interesting to learn that sweet loaves incorporating eggs are popular in various European countries. Colouring eggs is so much fun, it’s fascinating to read how vegetables can be used for this purpose.

    • Alida

      I have been colouring Easter eggs since I was little, then on Easter day we would line them up on the floor, throw a coin at them and whoever managed to pierce one would win. A really old fashioned game which I am still playing with my children.
      There are also other plants and veg you can use to colour eggs like onion skins which can give a nice red colour.

    • Alida

      I love to make this bread every year for Easter, I love the rich buttery taste of brioche bread.

  7. Marisa

    If I’d like to used hard boiled eggs instead of the candied eggs, should I insert the hard boiled egg before or after baking the bread ring? I just watched a Rick Steves “European Easter” special that showcased Italian families making ciambelle, and I’m so interested in making them this week for Easter!

    • Alida

      Hello Marina, you need to insert hard boiled eggs before baking the ring so they will remain encased in the dough after baking it.

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