Easter celebrations in Italy have resulted in a unique holiday cuisine. Find out about the origins of Italian Easter bread and how to get started off with making it.
The vast majority of people living in Italy follows the Christian faith and has been for a very long time now. Although some of those that live there today are Coptic Christians but do not follow the religion in practice. In the centuries past however religion was something that played a serious part in the governing of their lives. This is why we find certain traditions that have stemmed out of Christianity and are so deeply embedded in the lives of the people that they have been retained till today. Amongst them is the Easter celebration which is one of the most important holidays of the year.
The Italians are very much into celebrating Easter and as is their fashion of celebrating holidays they celebrate it with good food. Easter is all the more celebrated with lots of good food because it follows a forty day period of lent which involves fasting for those who follow the faith. Over the years the special kinds of foods prepared for Easter have been recorded as Italian Easter cuisine. Amongst the various things they used to prepare on the big day was the bread that is now famous as Italian Easter bread.
Making Italian bread
You can have the Italian Easter bread ready for yourselves in less than an hour. If you want to give it some interesting looks then you can go with the old school Italian and Swiss style of decorating the bread with colored eggs to give it a festive appearance. You don’t need a whole lot of fancy ingredients to make your selves the ideal Italian Easter bread just some very wholesome ones. All purpose flour, active dry yeast, milk, margarine, eggs and the usual items like sugar and salt. The special ingredients are going to be the mixed candied fruit, blanched almonds and a teaspoon of anise seeds.
Start off by combining one cup of flour, yeast, sugar and salt in one adequate mixing bowl. To this you will add some milk and butter and then beat the mixture for around two minutes. Make sure not to completely liquidize the mixture. It is better that you beat them on medium. After adding 2 eggs and another half cup of flour beat it on high for another two minutes. When the mixture is ready add the fruit, aniseeds and nuts in the bowl and mix it well. Add the remaining flour to the bowl and get the contents to become soft dough that can be worked upon.
Take the dough out and place it upon a lightly floured surface. Knead the flour for about six to eight minutes until it becomes smooth and elastic. Nicely grease a bowl and place the dough inside the bowl. Put a cover on the greased bowl and leave it to rise in a warm place and after about an hour you will see it doubled. Now is also the time to add in the uncooked colored eggs if you will. After this process is complete you will be required to bake the bread in an oven for around half an hour at 350 degrees and voila! your Italian Easter bread is ready to munch on.