Enjoy 15 Festive Easter Breads From Around the World
Decorative Easter breads are some of the loveliest edible centerpieces we've ever seen. A feast day tradition dating back for centuries, Easter breads are typically egg-enriched sweetened yeast breads, although some can be made savory with cheese. Depending on their cultural origin, Easter breads can be filled with dried fruits and nuts, and topped with glazes, nuts, and seeds. They can be shaped into religiously symbolic forms such as braids, rings, doves, and crosses; and they can be presented as whole loaves to slice and share, such as a braided Easter bread, or as individual rolls, such as hot cross buns. Here are 15 favorite Easter breads representing cuisines from around the world. Take a look, and bring a taste of tradition to your Easter table this year.
Italian Easter Bread (Anise Flavored)
"Found this recipe today. I'm Italian and found this very much like my mother's bread. I added raisins - no other changes..made 2 different shapes. They both turned out beautifully! Thanks for sharing! Happy Easter!" —cpoper
Easter Bread Ring
"This recipe is from Italy," says Marbalet. "The Italians love it, especially at Easter time." JSPAGS adds, "This recipe was absolutely FANTASTIC! I love baking from scratch and this old Italian favorite definitely impressed my Grandma. In fact she says that from now on, I can do the baking."
"This is pretty close to what my Ukrainian grandmother made every Easter, except we bake it in coffee cans!" —Ditzygypsy
Chef John's Hot Cross Buns
A British tradition for Good Friday, hot cross buns "have the cross baked into them, not piped on afterwards," says Chef John. If you want to ensure the buns look exactly alike (hello Instagram!) use a kitchen scale to weigh your dough, then divide by 16. Chef John also plumps up the dried currants in rum.
Hot Cross Buns I
Here's another popular version of hot cross buns in case you prefer yours crossed with icing, and you can make the dough in your bread machine. Sweet!
Kulich (Russian Panettone)
"Kulich is a sweet yeast bread, similar to panettone, that is traditionally baked in Russia for Easter. But you can enjoy it any time! It can be glazed or left plain. You can bake the bread in large coffee tins so they keep their traditional shape." —Valjusha
Choereg (Armenian Easter Bread)
Ani, who shared this recipe, says, "Ok..so my mother would just kill me if she knew I made our family recipe for Choereg public. But my policy is 'why keep a good thing to myself'. Choereg is a traditional, slightly sweet bread, especially made for Easter. It is delicious for breakfast with a nice cup of coffee. It takes some level of skill, but anyone used to handling yeast should not have a problem. You can find Mahleb at Middle Eastern grocery stores, especially around Easter. It will be with the spices. Please do not omit it, as this is what gives it its distinctive flavour and aroma."
This Eastern European bread is a "hybrid of sweet roll, swirl bread, and coffee cake," says recipe submitter Nicholio. "It's a sweet yeast dough that you roll out, fill, and roll up like a jelly roll, then cut, twist, and bake in a loaf pan. Don't worry: It looks fancy (and it IS a little messy), but it's seriously easy to do. And once you get the dough down, you can try it with other fillings."
Old World Poppy Seed Roll
"Tender, soft, sweet yeast bread swirled with a creamy homemade poppy seed filling. Growing up, my mother and aunts always made this Eastern European bread for Easter and Christmas. Looks complicated, but is easy enough to make for an Old-World treat. I like it best after the second day." —Linda(LMT)
Polish Egg Bread
"I tried this recipe for Easter this year — probably the best decision I've ever made! Everyone loved it :) I baked it the day before Easter, and halved the recipe to make three loaves: The first was devoured within a couple hours after it had cooled, and the flavour and texture was reminiscent of Portuguese or Hawaiian sweetbread. The rest of it was saved for dinner the next day." —DarlingMissLovette
Romano Cheese Easter Bread
"I have fond memories of Romano chesse bread from my Easter in Italy and was excited to finally find a recipe for it." —JENNY1224
Yia Yia's Tsoureki (Greek Easter Bread)
"My Yia Yia made this Greek Easter bread for many years, so this is very dear to my heart. It is slightly sweet and has a soft, golden brown crust. Leftovers can be used for toast the next day. Christos Anesti!" —Jacolyn
"I live in Slovenia (for 11 years) and speak the language. I also have a Croatian heritage and my grandmother made potica. Just for the record, the correct pronunciation is po-tee-tza. This recipe is really authentic. It is traditionally made for Christmas and Easter." —Joan B.
Easter's not the only time you can enjoy this traditional Czech pastry. "Just like my grandma used to make! I was trying to find her recipe but was unable to find it since she passed away. Thank you for this recipe. It has brought many happy memories to my family! I used apple, almond, mixed nut, and cherry fillings and then topped it with a powdered sugar icing. Very very good!" —Jennifer Krizan Reale
Chef John's Easter Bread
"If you were lucky enough to grow up in an Italian-American home, there's a good chance you got to enjoy the smell of freshly baked Easter bread, with its unmistakable anisette aroma filling the air. This loaf of Easter bread is one of my favorite holiday traditions, and an authentic family heirloom recipe; made the same way as my mother, and her mother, and her mother's mother made it. I hope you give this a try, and remember, it's never too late to start an old family tradition. Frost with pink icing and top with sprinkles!" —Chef John