2½ cups all-purpose Flour, divided
¼ cup Sugar
1 tsp. Salt
1 (.25 ounce) package Active Dry Yeast
⅔ cup Milk
2 tbs. Butter
5 Whole Eggs, dyed (red is traditional)
2 tbs. Butter, melted
- In a large bowl, combine 1 cup flour, sugar, salt and yeast; stir well. Combine milk and butter in a small saucepan; heat until milk is warm and butter is softened but not melted.
- Gradually add the milk and butter to the flour mixture; stirring constantly. Add two eggs and ½ cup flour; beat well. Add the remaining flour, ½ cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.
- Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
- Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into two equal size rounds; cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Roll each round into a long roll about 36 inches long and 1½ inches thick. Using the two long pieces of dough, form a loosely braided ring, leaving spaces for the five colored eggs. Seal the ends of the ring together and use your fingers to slide the eggs between the braids of dough.
- Preheat oven to 350°. Place loaf on a buttered baking sheet and cover loosely with a damp towel. Place loaf in a warm place and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes. Brush risen loaf with melted butter.
- Bake in preheated oven for 50 to 55 minutes, or until golden.
Note: You can sprinkle the bread with colored nonpareils before baking if desired for a more festive look as shown in the photo.
from Maxine Forward