It’s that time of year again. This coming Sunday morning the house will be filled with the aroma of Easter bread being baked. This is one of my favorite bread recipes. I’ve never had anything like it and I have never come across a similar recipe.

grandma Carlo’s Italian easter bread

makes 2 loaves

mini loaves of bread

mini loaves of bread

My sister Margaret married Larry who had a wonderful Italian Grandmother. Grandma Carlo made this savory easter bread for Sunday brunch. She would serve it with grilled pork chops, hard cooked eggs and red wine. We’d sprinkle “easter spice” on the eggs which was a combination of the spices from the bread put into a little salt shaker. I still carry on this tradition with my own family even when I can’t be with my sister and her husband for the holiday.

step one

6 room temperature eggs
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon yellow food coloring

Combine the above ingredients and set aside.

step two

1 envelope traditional yeast
1 cup lukewarm water
1 teaspoon sugar

Dissolve the sugar in the water. Sprinkle the yeast over the water and sugar mixture and let rest in a warm place, for 10 minutes.

step three

Add 1/2 cup vegetable oil to step one.

step four

Mix step one and step two together. Add 2 cups all-purpose flour and beat until smooth. Add about 3 more cups of flour to make a soft dough. Knead until firm and elastic. Lightly oil the dough and cover. Let rise, in a warm place, for 1 hour or until double in bulk.

step five

Punch the dough down and divide into 2 equal portions. Let rest for 15 minutes. Oil the dough a bit more and shape into oiled loaf pans. Let rise, in a warm place, for 1 hour.

step six

Bake at 400ºF for 30 to 40 minutes. Remove the loaves from the pans and brush the top of each one with melted butter. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack.