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Nonna’s Easter Breads

A colorful treat for your family gathering

Guideposts: Nonna's Easter Bread

In our family, Nonna’s Easter Breads marked the official start of spring. As a child, I remember their sweet citrus aroma filling the air at Nonna’s house. Now I’m the grandmother at our family gatherings, but Nonna’s springtime recipe and our Easter tradition remain the same. Hide these colorful “nests” inside or out for a unique Easter egg hunt!


12 small eggs in shell, uncooked 3 packages active dry yeast
Easter egg dye ¾ c. warm water
¾ c. milk 3 eggs
¾ c. sugar 6 ¾ c. all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp. salt 1 egg, beaten
¾ c. unsalted butter 1 package colored candy sprinkles
grated peel of 2 lemons  


1. Color the 12 eggs and set aside.

2. In a saucepan, scald milk. Add sugar, salt, butter and lemon peel. Cool to lukewarm.

3. In a mixing bowl, sprinkle yeast on warm water; stir to dissolve. Add cooled milk mixture, 3 eggs slightly beaten and 3 cups flour. Beat mixture until smooth. Stir in enough flour, a little at a time, to form dough.

4. Place on a floured board, and knead until smooth and elastic (6–8 minutes). Place in greased bowl; turn dough over once to grease top. Cover and set in a warm spot, free from drafts, until dough rises to twice its original size (about 1 hour).

5. Punch down dough; cover and let rise until size doubles again (about 30 minutes).

6. Divide dough into 12 buns. Form each into a ring around an egg. Cover, let rise until buns double in size.

7. Brush buns with beaten egg. Scatter sprinkles on top.

8. Bake at 375°F for 15–20 minutes until lightly browned.

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