Easter Bread Recipe

Easter Bread Recipe

Rizzi DeFabo brings recipes from the “Old Country” to Westmoreland County.

The fifth-generation DeFabo family member, chef and co-owner of Rizzo’s Malabar Inn, says his Nonna’s homemade braided Easter bread filled her kitchen every Good Friday.

Braided Easter Bread



2 (2-ounce) packages fresh yeast

1 cup lukewarm water

1 cup milk (scalded, then cooled to lukewarm)

6 large eggs, slightly beaten

1 tablespoon vanilla

Juice of one lemon

¾ cup shortening

1 tablespoon salt

2 cups sugar

8 cups flour

½ cup vegetable oil


Egg Wash:

1 egg yolk

5 tablespoons water

Combine and set aside.

Dissolve yeast in ¼ cup of lukewarm water. Combine remaining water, milk, eggs, vanilla, lemon juice, shortening, salt and sugar. Add dissolved yeast. Mix. If dough is sticky, add more flour. Knead dough for 20 minutes in a bowl greased with vegetable oil. Cover with damp cloth and let rise one hour.

Divide into three equal loaves, braid and place onto greased baking sheets. Cover again and let rise another hour.

Brush with egg wash and bake 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees until bottom of loaves are golden brown.