Recipe By LadyAnna123
Published Jun 19th
Italian Easter Bread (Anise Flavored)
Prep 15m Cook 20m Additional 1h 25m Ready In 2h
Servings 1 loaf Calories 211.5

Growing up, this was the best treat of Easter morning (and still is)! One bite of this light, fluffy, sweet bread and you’re twelve years old again! Bakery quality in two hours. Try this South Philly Italian tradition and keep the heritage alive…Buona Pasqua a Tutti!

Recipe Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (.25 ounce) package rapid rise yeast
  • ⅓ cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon anise extract
  • 2 tablespoons butter at room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ½ tablespoon colored candy decorating dragees, or as desired

Cooking Directions

  1. 1 Mix 1 cup of flour with sugar, salt, and yeast in a bowl, stir well. Place milk and anise extract into a small saucepan over low heat, and warm to about 110 degrees F (43 degrees C). Make a well in the center of the flour mixture with your hand, and pour in the milk mixture; swirl with your hand in a circular motion to combine the flour mixture with the milk mixture. Mix in butter and eggs, one at a time, then mix in remaining flour until dough begins to pull together.
  2. 2 Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface, and knead until soft but elastic, about 8 minutes. Cover with a damp cloth, and let dough rest for 10 minutes; cut dough into halves.
  3. 3 On floured work surface, roll each half into a ball, then shape the balls into 2 long pieces, about 1 1/2 inches thick and 18 to 20 inches long. Pinch the 2 top ends together, and loosely twist the pieces to form a twisted loaf; pinch the bottom ends together, and tuck the two ends underneath the loaf. (Alternately, form the twist into a ring, and pinch the ends together.)
  4. 4 Grease a baking sheet, lay the loaf onto the prepared sheet, and cover with a damp towel; let rise until doubled, about 1 hour. Brush loaf with beaten egg, and sprinkle with colored decorating dragees.
  5. 5 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Bake the decorated loaf in the preheated oven until golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Watch closely towards the end of the baking time that the bread does not begin to burn. Transfer to wire rack immediately after baking to cool.

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories 211.5
  • Carbohydrate 35.4 g
  • Cholesterol 63.2 mg
  • Fat 4.6 g
  • Fiber 1.2 g
  • Protein 6.6 g
  • Saturated Fat 2.2 g
  • Sodium 287.9 mg
  • Sugar 6.6 g


  1. Fabulous! Added to my Easter menu. No changes needed.
  2. this is the easiest and best italian easter bread i have ever made. just took a loaf out of the freezer and toasted it for breakfast. still as good as the day i made it 7 months ago.
  3. I followed this recipe but the bread dough was very dry. When I baked it I watched it carefully but the top was too brown and the inside was still doughy. I bake bread on a regular basis so this wasn't just beginner's bad luck. I'll not make this again.
  4. This bread was wonderful. I used my stand mixer with dough hook for kneeding. I wanted for Easter morning but didn't want to get up early. I made night before and put in fridge to raise overnight and worked beautifully. Put it on round pizza stone after kneeding covered with plastic wrap sprayed with a - Read more ...
  5. This dough was VERY easy to work with. I actually misread the ingredients and only added 1 egg initially. Thankfully I caught my mistake. I was worried that adding more wet ingredients after the dough had come together would mess with the consistency but it still worked out well. As another reviewer said I used - Read more ...
  6. Baked for Easter. Unbelievable!! I could have eaten the entire thing. I will be baking this bread through the entire year. Thank you.
  7. I have been making a version of this bread for about 30 years and it is one of my signiture and requested favorites. I have never been completely satisfied with the recipe I used however as it was heavier than I wanted so I tried this one. It also is heavier than I am looking - Read more ...
  8. This bread is absolutely fabulous. I put it in my bread machine on the dough cycle then baked. My family and I really enjoyed it! Thank you so much for sharing!
  9. ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC! If I could give this recipe more stars I would! This was my first year attempting Easter bread, and I chose this recipe because it sounded the most like what I was looking for, and it really, REALLY exceeded my expectations. I did do a few things slightly different, due to what I - Read more ...