Italian Easter Sweet Bread

This Italian Easter Sweet Bread aka Pane di Pasqua is a simple, light yeast bread flavored with a hint of orange. Truly an authentic egg bread recipe!
Course Brunch
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Easter bread recipe, Italian Easter Sweet Bread, Italian sweet bread, pane di pasqua
Prep Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Servings 6 round loaves (5 inches) or 3 braided loaves
Calories 851kcal
Author Maria Vannelli RD


  • 8 grams active dry yeast 1 package or 2¼ teaspoons
  • 1 cup milk lukewarm
  • 1 tablespoon sugar granulated
  • 5 eggs room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar granulated
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • zest of one orange
  • 1-1/2 cups russet potato about 2 medium,peeled, boiled and riced
  • 6 cups flour all purpose, sifted

Egg wash:

  • 1 egg slightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon milk


  • Dissolve yeast in warm milk. Add 1 tablespoon of sugar and stir. Set aside for 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl (of stand mixer) whisk eggs at medium speed until nice and frothy (3-4 minutes).
  • Gradually add sugar. Continue to whisk for another 3-4 minutes.
  • Whisk in the oil and orange zest.
  • Combine yeast mixture with riced potatoes.
  • Add to egg mixture and whisk together on low speed.
  • Add half of flour mixture and mix on low speed for about one minute.
  • Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  • Switch to dough hook and add the rest of the flour.
  • Mix for about 5-8 minutes until smooth and elastic. Alternately, you can knead by hand.
  • Line large cookie sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl. Make sure to turn dough in order to completely coat the dough with the oil.
  • Let rise for about 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  • Punch dough.
  • Cover and let rise for about 30 minutes or until double in size.
  • Punch dough again.
  • Divide in 6 portions if making round loaves or in 3 portions if making braided bread.(Continue to divide each section in 3).
  • For braided bread: roll each section into a log (about 10 inches long and 1 1/2 inch thick); start making a braid with the three strands. Tuck ends underneath the braid.
  • Place on prepared cookie sheet.
  • Cover with clean tea towel and let rise for about 30-45 minutes or until double in size.
  • Preheat oven to 350° F.
  • Brush loaves with egg wash (whisk egg and milk together).
  • Bake small round loaves for about 25-30 minutes; bake braided loaves for about 50-60 minutes. Depending on your oven, you might want to place a sheet of aluminum paper loosely over the loaves, to prevent them from over browning.
  • Cool on wire racks.


The serving size is calculated as 1 loaf.
Please keep in mind that the nutritional information provided below is just a rough estimate and variations can occur depending on the specific ingredients used. 


Serving: 1loaf | Calories: 851kcal | Carbohydrates: 135g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 167mg | Sodium: 85mg | Potassium: 313mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 38g | Vitamin A: 305IU | Vitamin C: 0.7mg | Calcium: 92mg | Iron: 6.7mg