Classic Sweet Bread Recipe (Perfect for Christmas + Easter) (2024)

Here's a classic Sweet Bread recipe my family loves that will make your holiday even more special. It's soft and moist on the inside and tastes so nostalgic!

Course Easter

Cuisine American

Keyword challah, raising bread, sweet braided easter bread, sweet bread

Prep Time 3 hours hours 35 minutes minutes

Cook Time 25 minutes minutes

15 minutes minutes

Total Time 4 hours hours 15 minutes minutes


Braided Bread Dough Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cup – luke warm whole milk
  • 1 tbsp. – active dry yeast
  • 1 ¼ cup – granulated white sugar
  • 4 - large eggs (room temperature)
  • 4 oz. – unsalted butter (melted and cooled)
  • ½ tsp. – salt
  • 1 tsp. – vanilla extract
  • 6 cups – all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups – golden raisins

Braided Bread Egg Wash

  • 1 - large egg
  • 1 tbsp. - whole milk


How to Make the Tastiest Easter Bread – Step by Step

  • Prep the Raisins: Place 2 cups of raisins into a small bowl. Pour boiling hot water until the water covers the raisins entirely. Let the raisins soak for 15 minutes, then drain the water and rinse the raisins. Set the raisins aside, for now, we’ll use them in the recipe later.

  • Heat milk and add sugar: Next, heat milk in a small saucepan over a stovetop burner on high heat for about 30 seconds or so until the milk reaches a lukewarm temperature. The milk should be barely warm at this point.

  • Now transfer the milk into a small bowl. Add ¼ cup of sugar to it and stir well until the sugar dissolves entirely.

  • Add yeast to milk-sugar mixture: Time to add the yeast! Sprinkle the active dry yeast over this milk-sugar mixture. Stir it in and then set it aside in a warm place for 15 minutes to allow the yeast to activate.

  • You’ll notice bubbles forming on the top once the yeast has activated. You’ll also be able to smell the distinctive scent of yeast once it’s done.

  • Melt butter: Next, melt butter in a bowl in the microwave or on the stovetop. Set it aside to let it cool down.

  • Beat eggs and sugar: In the large bowl of a stand mixer, beat eggs and sugar on high for 10 minutes or until it turns foamy and pale yellow in color.

  • Add the yeast mixture: Now reduce to a low speed and slowly mix in the yeast mixture.

  • Mix in salt and vanilla extract: Continue mixing on low while adding salt and vanilla exact to this combined mixture.

  • Add melted butter: Next, add the melted butter that we set aside to cool. Continue mixing the mixture on a low speed.

  • Add raisins and flour: Finally, add raisins to this mixture. Now switch o the dough hook attachment on your stand mixer. Add 1 cup of flour at a time until 6 cups of flour have been incorporated.

  • Continue mixing until the dough comes together and feels smooth and elastic. This should take approximately 15 minutes.

Dough Proofing Time

  • Let the dough rise in a warm environment for 2 hours. Cover it with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap to let it rise.

Shape the Dough

  • After the dough has risen and tripled in volume, transfer it onto a floured surface. I used a large cutting board. Split the dough in half.

  • Take one-half of the dough and roll it into a log. Then split it into four equal pieces.

  • Roll each of the four smaller pieces into thin, long logs (about 1.5-foot-long and 1 inch thick).

  • Pinch the ends of all four thin logs together to start shaping them into a braid.

  • Braid them into a nice and even braid as is shown in the picture (I have video instructions on my Instagram account under the Easter Bread bubble on how to make and braid this bread).

  • Pinch the opposite end of the braided loaf together, then place it on a greased baking sheet.

Make and Brush On the Egg Wash

  • Using a hand whisk, whisk egg, and milk together until it’s well mixed.

  • Brush the egg wash generously over the top of the easter bread challah.

  • Repeat the same steps with the second half of the dough by shaping it and brushing egg wash on top of it as we did with the first piece.

  • Let the braided challahs rise in a warm place for another 45 minutes to an hour. It will expand nicely and close the gaps.

Bake the Bread

  • Preheat the oven to 350 F. Bake each pan for 25 minutes or both pans for 30 minutes rotating them 10 minutes before the baking time ends.

  • Remove from the oven and let them cool for 15 minutes before removing them from the pan.

  • Remove from the oven and let them cool for 15 minutes on a wire rack before removing them from the pan.

Classic Sweet Bread Recipe (Perfect for Christmas + Easter) (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Pres. Lawanda Wiegand

Last Updated:

Views: 6087

Rating: 4 / 5 (71 voted)

Reviews: 94% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Pres. Lawanda Wiegand

Birthday: 1993-01-10

Address: Suite 391 6963 Ullrich Shore, Bellefort, WI 01350-7893

Phone: +6806610432415

Job: Dynamic Manufacturing Assistant

Hobby: amateur radio, Taekwondo, Wood carving, Parkour, Skateboarding, Running, Rafting

Introduction: My name is Pres. Lawanda Wiegand, I am a inquisitive, helpful, glamorous, cheerful, open, clever, innocent person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.