Monday, April 18, 2011

Aunt Emma's Easter Bread

Aunt Emma's Easter Bread

Every Easter morning, for the past 30 something years, our family celebrates with a beautiful Easter Bread.  I received this recipe from my Aunt Emma, who had been making this bread for as long as I can remember. She used to make several and send them out to her family who lived out of state. Today, she is living out of state…South Carolina! She moved several years ago at about the same time my mom passed away. While she was still living here, we frequently had our special lunches.  I would pick up lunch at one of my favorite cafes and take my mom down to her home. My other aunt (Louise, who is 85 and still working…I sure hope I've inherited those genes) would join us. We had wonderful lunches together!  We would talk about politics, world affairs, family and of course a little gossip. I think back now and treasure these wonderful memories. I used to think I was doing this for my mom, getting her together with her sisters, but in actuality it was for me. My mom and her two sisters were very close. They had a special bond that few of us ever experience.  I was very blessed to have these ladies in my life. They were always strong, intelligent role models. They are very special to me so, this Easter I am baking three Easter Breads. One will be sent to my son and his family in Georgia. One is for my family here and, one will be going to SC to my aunt. When I spoke to her the other day on the phone, I told her I was making her Easter Bread. She said she doesn't do any baking anymore.  I heard a sadness in her voice...she really misses the baking but also the tradition of having the bread for Easter morning.  So Aunt Emma, I hope you enjoy the bread!

Easter Sweet Bread


4 cups of all purpose flour
1/2 cup of sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon lemon rind
1/2 cup butter
1 cup lukewarm milk
1 large egg (slightly beaten)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 package yeast
Egg white for brushing
colored sprinkles

In a large bowl mix dry ingredients. Cut in butter as for a pie. Make a well in the center and add the rest of the ingredients. Mix well until dough holds together and then knead until smooth. Put into a lightly greased bowl and let rise about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Punch down and divide into 3 portions. Roll each portion into a rope and form into a loose braid. Place dyed eggs into the braid, brush with egg white wash and add the sprinkles!! Cover lightly with kitchen towel and let rest for an hour. Bake for 25-30 minutes. till nicely browned. 
This Bread can be made into smaller loaves. Wrapped in plastic wrap and then in heavy duty foil it freezes very well.

Dough ready to use
Cut into 3 portions and roll into ropes.

Ready to braid
Braided Loaf

Raw dyed eggs

Place dyed eggs into bread.
Brush with egg white wash and sprinkle on the sprinkles!!
Let rest one hour. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes.


  1. This sounds so fun!! I love how the bread is decorated with colourful Easter eggs :D).

  2. I always feel a tinge of envy when I hear of siblings who are very close! Sounds like you had such warm people in your life! This bread is a symbol of the love that united your aunts and their bond with the rest of the family and God knows that Easter is so important to the Lebanese who celebrate it!

  3. What special memories, Kathy. Your bread looks so pretty and perfect for Easter! I can just feel the love that went into baking it and your son and aunt are so lucky that you are sending them some. I am sure it will make their Easter extra special and especially will bring your aunt so much joy. Thank you for sharing your memories and your Easter bread with us! By the way - my grandma's name was Emma - it is a special name for special women. :)

  4. This looks so impressive! And, it sounds interesting: a sweet bread with baked eggs. I may have to try this (on a smaller scale). =D

  5. Those memories are so precious, thank you for sharing Kathy. Your Easter break looks perfect!

  6. You never fail to impress me with your skill in the background material you share, your skill at photography, and of course your baking skills!! Just a beautiful presentation and your Emma will be so pleased!!!! Very thoughtful of you.

  7. Kathy-Such amazing memories you have with your sweet aunts baking, and this Easter bread from you Aunt Emma's is the "true classic" that I've been searching for, since I don't have my old recipe any more.
    I copied the URL to send to Lora, hopefully we can try to make this for Easter, since I can't stand on my feet (sprained ankle)

    Thank you for the step-by-step photo directions. Your bread turned out so beautiful and perfect. I'm so inspired to make this, and will always think of you, and your sweet aunt!
    Happy Easter!

  8. How beautiful, Kathy! And what a wonderful tradition. Happy Easter!

  9. such a pretty bread! i wonder how the eggs taste after they've been baked. i'm intrigued.

  10. What a lovely looking bread!

  11. Aww I LOVE this! It looks absolutely perfect, thank you so much for sharing!

  12. I hope you had a wonderful Easter, Kathy. I have tagged you over at my blog. :)

  13. Thank you for this recipe! My mother-in-law made this every Easter but I cannot find her recipe and my hubby says this is just like it! I also treasure my memories with her and her sisters :)

  14. How do you mail these? W/or without the eggs? Over-night delivery?? THANKS!

  15. Cheryl, I freeze them once they cool. Then wrap them in plastic wrap and heavy duty foil. When it’s time to mail, I place them in the box and have it delivered by priority. It always arrives fine…I usually mail them Easter week so that they arrive in time for Easter. Hope this helps you.

  16. What a lovely story Kathy--I think this post must be from before I started reading your blog, but I saw the bread on Pinterest and it is so cute I'm going to have to pin it myself!