Catholic Recipe: Italian Easter Bread Eggs
Italian mothers make Easter baskets of dry golden brown pastry flecked with candied fruit to surround baked eggs. We decided to shape the dough into a Chi-Rho, and place the egg in the upper loop of the symbol. The Chi-Rho stands for Christ and the egg for the Resurrection. This egg bread is the traditional recipe for Holy Saturday.
Cool milk to lukewarm, dissolve yeast, add 2 cups of flour and beat well. Cream shortening with sugar, add eggs and beat well; add milk mixture with salt and remaining flour. Knead well; let rise in a warm place about 1-1/2 hours. Work in remaining ingredients, and knead on floured board until it does not stick. Place in a greased bowl, rub with butter, cover, and let rise until double in bulk. Knead again, and shape into CHI-RHO or ring shapes. Place one hard boiled egg on each. Arrange them on a cookie sheet, brush over lightly with the beaten egg, and let rise until double again. Bake in a moderately hot oven (400° F.) for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350° F. and bake for 15 minutes more. This recipe may be baked in 4 small loaves.Recipe Source: Family Customs: Easter to Pentecost by Helen McLoughlin, The Liturgical Press, Collegeville, Minnesota, 1956