This year I decided to add a couple of traditions to our Resurrection Day celebration: dying our eggs naturally using plant dyes and baking Pane de Pasqua (Italian Easter Bread). My husband is part Italian and loves when we add a bit of his heritage into our cooking. In our homeschool, we are currently studying about Italy, so this recipe worked well into this study, and my son was happy to help in the making of these items.
Coloring the eggs naturally was not a quick task, but well worth the effort. I chose the following plants/fruit to use for our dyes:
- Purple/Red Cabbage–pulled and cut some leaves and boiled
- Beets–cut and boiled
- Yellow Onion Skins–peeled outer yellow skins and boiled
- Turmeric and Ginger Root–cut ginger root and added ground turmeric then boiled
- Blueberries–1 1/2 cups of frozen or fresh and boiled
After all were boiled in separate pans, I simmered them for about 10 minutes each, strained the solid from the liquid, and let the colored liquids cool in coffee mugs. After each was cooled, we, my son and I, placed eggs (not boiled eggs) into each color and let stand for 20 minutes each. After taking the eggs out of their colors, we gently dabbed them dry and placed them in an empty egg carton. See below:
Now, on to one of the best sweet bread recipes I have found. This recipe was found on Pinterest– I’m kind of a “Pinterest junky” from the website amotherthing.com. I might add that she has some amazing recipes on her site worth checking out! I want to add that although I followed the recipe, my son and I divided the dough into fourths and then each fourth into halves. In other words, we ended up with 8 pieces of dough. We rolled each by hand into long “snakes” and then twisted two “snakes” together for form the twist and rubbed a little water on each end to stick to the other. (We did this four times.) We then formed the twists into circles (4) and placed them on parchment paper on a baking stone. We put a raw naturally colored egg into the center of each circle and baked them at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes. I also put the rest of the colored raw eggs into a cupcake tin and baked them on the top rack along with the bread (on the middle shelf). I made sure to set the timer. After twenty minutes, the bread seemed done, but not too brown. I added 4 minutes and then took them out to cool. After the bread cooled, I put them on a cooling rack with a cookie sheet underneath. I then combined milk and powdered sugar to make the icing drizzle. I like it thick so I added more powdered sugar. I must tell you that I “eye-balled” the measurements for the icing. (What? You’ve never done that?!?) The Easter bread turned out beautifully! If you try this recipe, let me know in the comments and email me the picture of the finished product! (Don’t forget to go to www.amotherthing.com for the recipe.