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Sourdough Easter Bread Recipe

This sourdough Easter bread is a version of the traditional Italian sweet brioche but made with sourdough instead of commercial yeast! It’s soft, smooth, fluffy and the natural fermentation and kneading process makes the dough easy to shape.


Prep Time 20minutes
Cook Time 30minutes
Rising Time 18hours
Total Time 18hours 50minutes


  • ½ cup milk lukewarm
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup sourdough starter
  • cups + 2 tablespoons all purpose flour (325 grams total)
  • 1 large egg (room temperature)
  • 1 large egg yolk (room temperature)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½-1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • cup butter softened
  • ¾ teaspoon salt


  • In the mixer add the milk and sugar, stir to combine, then add the sourdough starter and mix together with the flat beaters.
  • Add the flour, egg, yolk, vanilla and zest, with the dough hook knead just until it start to come together it will look shaggy. Cover the bowl and let rest 20 minutes.
  • Start to knead, then add the butter a little kneading continuously, add the salt and knead for 15-20 minutes, until soft and elastic.
  • Place the dough in a bowl and cover, let rise in a warm draft free area for 2 hours, then place in the fridge over night (8-10 hours).
  • Remove from the fridge and place the dough on a lightly floured flat surface, shape or braid into desired shape. Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Cover and let rise 6-8 hours, until doubled in bulk.
  • Pre-heat oven to 350F/180C.
  • Brush the dough with an egg wash or milk. Bake for 25-35 minutes. Test with a toothpick or a thermometer, temperature should be 190F/88C when done.
  • I find if I use nonpareils then lightly press into the dough without using an egg wash or milk as they will bleed.


Lukewarm is considered between 105-110F (40-43C). Be aware that the yeast will die at a temperature over 140F (60C).

For room temperature remove the ingredients from the fridge about 45-60 minutes before using.

Store the completely cooled bread in an airtight container or zip-top bag. You can keep it at room temperature for 2-3 days or in the fridge for up to 5-6 days. Bring to room temperature or warm in the oven before serving.

The completely cooled bread can be frozen either sliced or whole. Wrap the bread tightly with foil or plastic wrap, then place in a freezer bag or container. It will keep for up to three months if properly stored.

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