Chocolate Marbled Italian Easter Bread

Chocolate Marbled Italian Easter Bread

I thought about making an extravagant Easter brunch this year. I spent a few hours tossing the idea around in my head, planning the menu, envisioning the tablescape, designing adorable little place cards for each guest. I was thinking of going with a decadent Eggs Benedict. A fresh, spring salad on the side, maybe mixed greens with radishes and peas and some kind of lemony vinaigrette. Homemade croissants, obviously. Three kinds of jam. Some surprising, yet sophisticated and understated cocktail. The way Easter brunch should be done.

Chocolate Marbled Italian Easter BreadAnd then I remembered that we’re two weeks away from our move date. And that I’ve already packed up all of our dishes (not to mention any and all serving platters, flatware, and Easter decorations). And that I have two kids under the age of five who definitely wouldn’t appreciate a good Eggs Benedict and would instead ask for scrambled eggs and guacamole with a side of Goldfish crackers, thankyouverymuch.

Chocolate Marbled Italian Easter BreadEaster is an incredibly special day in our house. So even if my Martha Stewart-inspired brunch wasn’t meant to be, I still wanted to do something special for breakfast. I was scrolling through my Instagram feed when I saw a picture of this show-stopping Easter bread. Clearly, it was fate. Or an incredibly well-curated IG feed.

Chocolate Marbled Italian Easter BreadThis is the most perfect doughy, yeasty, chocolate-studded bread. It’s sweet, but not overly so. And it’s just beautiful. The hard-boiled eggs in the center give it a pop of color, and the sprinkles add that slight touch of whimsy that is the mark of any great Easter breakfast treat.

Chocolate Marbled Italian Easter BreadHappy Easter, friends! May your day be full of celebrations, all of the chocolate bunnies you can eat, and maybe even some delicious Chocolate Marbled Italian Easter bread!

Chocolate Marbled Italian Easter BreadChocolate Marbled Italian Easter Bread
Recipe courtesy of Joy the Baker

Active time: 45 minutes
Start to finish: 3 hours
Makes 6

1 1/4 cups warm whole milk (about 100 degrees F)
Pinch of brown sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs, beaten lightly
1/2 cup packed light sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1 large beaten egg, for egg wash
6 dyed and dry Easter eggs

Stir a pinch of brown sugar and all of the yeast into the warm milk and let sit for 5 minutes, allowing the yeast to bloom and bubble.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a bread hook, add the yeast mixture, butter, beaten eggs, brown sugar, salt, and about 3 1/2 cups of flour. First use a spatula to stir the ingredients until just combined.

Beat the mixture (it will still be fairly wet) on medium speed using the mixer and dough hook. Add the final 1 to 11/2 cups flour creating a cohesive, though still slightly sticky dough. Beat for 4 to 5 minutes on the mixer. Add the chocolate chips in the last minute of kneading.

Remove the bowl from the mixer and scrape the dough to the center of the bowl. Dust lightly with flour and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Allow to rest in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

After rising, dump the dough onto a clean counter lightly dusted with flour. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece piece into a 14-inch long, 1-inch thick ropes of dough. Attach two ropes at their ends, and twist over one another. Pull the ends together to form a round wreath and gently lift onto the prepared baking sheet. Place the raw dyed egg into the center of the wreath.

Repeat with all of the dough, creating six dough wreaths with nestled eggs. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and allow to rest and rise for 30 minutes.

While the bread rises, place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.

After the second rise, lightly brush the bread with egg wash, being careful to avoid the dyed egg.

Sprinkle with sprinkles or coarse sugar.

Bake for 25 to 28 minutes, until golden brown and baked through.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature before serving.

Bread will last up to three days, well wrapped at room temperature. (Obviously, don’t eat the egg if you store the bread at room temperature. Common sense.)

Chocolate Marbled Italian Easter Bread

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