No-Rise Italian Easter Bread is a take on a traditional treat for the season. Enjoy this sweet, citrusy bread as part of your celebration.
It’s almost Easter, and what would the celebration be without some sweet, traditional treats for the day? No-Rise Italian Easter Bread is a lovely addition to a festive feast.
This sweet bread isn’t totally traditional, but it will give you a taste of the season, for sure.
It’s loaded with orange flavor, too, for a burst of spring, and you’ll like the glaze that drips down the sides.
My mom always spent a lot of time baking for Easter (and making a great frittata for breakfast like my Zucchini-Thyme Frittata for Two), and almost always makes Italian Easter bread. We’re not together celebrating this year, so I thought I would make my own version of Easter bread.
I adapted a recipe I found at Taste of Home, and the reason I decided to make this version was because it’s a no-rise bread. I didn’t want to invest the time it takes to make a traditional Easter bread.
If you’re used to the light, fluffy and golden Italian Easter bread, you’ll want to try this recipe from An Italian in My Kitchen for a traditional Italian Easter Bread. I love her site and the goodies she makes!
This recipe for No-Rise Italian Easter Bread is a little different AND delightful.
Traditional Easter bread is typically baked with a colored egg in the center. For mine, I added a colored hard-boiled egg to the middle after baking, just for photos (and a little bit for tradition).
Symbolism of Easter Bread
Many foods and recipes serve as tradition and symbolism. For Italian Catholics celebrating Easter, Easter bread has its own symbolism:
- Leavened Bread that Rises – The rising of the bread symbolizes the story of Christ rising from the tomb.
- Several Eggs in the Recipe – Eggs symbolize life and rebirth and help add golden color to the bread.
- A Wreath Shape – This symbolizes the crown of thorns on Christ’s head when he was crucified.
- Three Strands of the Braid – This is to reflect the three elements of the Holy Trinity.
No Rise-Italian Easter Bread
While this No-Rise Italian Easter Bread is a little different (when I sent my mom a photo of my bread, she asked what happened to it!), it surely is delicious!
This bread reminds me of a scone or a cake that’s perfect to enjoy with coffee or hot tea. Also, if you don’t have a large family, you’ll want to share one of the final bread wreaths with a loved one, as this recipe makes two fairly large wreaths.
What You’ll Need to Make this Bread:
- All-Purpose Baking Flour (like, 6 cups!)
- Baking Powder
- Eggs and Egg Yolks
- Ricotta Cheese (I used cottage cheese)
- Orange Extract and Orange Zest
- Confectioners Sugar
- Candy Sprinkles
Skills You’ll Need:
The most basic braiding skills! This is an easy recipe to make and the most talent you’ll need is to shape the dough into a braided wreath.
I love that food brings people together to share traditions and memories. What traditions do you follow for Easter?
Growing up in Ohio, one memory I have about Easter is never knowing what the weather would be like. Always on my young mind was, whether it would snow and I’d have to wear a coat over my new Easter dress, or would the sun be shining enough to go without a coat.
I hope you find a way to celebrate the season, and I hope you give this No-Rise Italian Easter Bread a try!
Patricia Conte/Grab a Plate
Yields Yields 2 wreaths
5 based on 5 review(s)
- 6 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup shortening
- 1-1/2 cups sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 cup ricotta cheese (or cottage cheese)
- 1-1/2 teaspoons orange extract, divided
- Zest from one orange
- 1/2 cup milk, plus 3 tablespoons
- 1-1/2 cups confectioners sugar
- Candy sprinkles
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk to combine then set aside.
- Using a stand mixer, combine the shortening and the sugar and beat at medium speed until combined and fluffy.
- One at a time, add the eggs and egg yolks to the mixture until well combined.
- On low speed, add the ricotta cheese, 1 teaspoon of orange extract, and orange zest.
- A little at a time, and alternating with 1/2 cup of milk, add the flour to the mixture. Blend until a soft dough forms.
- Lightly dust a work surface with flour.
- Divide the dough in half. Starting with one of the half portions of dough, divide it into thirds and roll into 16-18-inch logs.
- Line the logs up next to each other, vertically. Gently attach the top of the logs together and tuck underneath to secure them. Begin to braid the logs.
- When you finish the braid, bring the ends together and tuck underneath to secure. Shape the braid into a round wreath. Use two large spatulas to help transfer the braided wreath onto one baking sheet.
- Repeat with the remaining dough.
- Bake for about 30-40 minutes, or until the top is slightly golden and a knife or toothpick inserted into the center of the dough comes out clean.
- Allow the rounds to cool completely.
- In a small bowl, mix together the confectioners sugar, 3 tablespoons milk, and 1/2 teaspoon of the orange extract together.
- Drizzle the glaze over the baked and cooled rounds and garnish with the candy sprinkles.
This recipe makes 2, 9-inch wreaths.