|I found this recipe on Catholic Cuisine, which was posted by Waltzing Matilda. It is a variation of St. Lucia bread.|
2 1/4-ounce packages active dry yeast
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
6 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
2 large eggs
1/4 cup orange juice
optional- 1 tea. orange extract
1 tablespoon finely grated orange rind
1 teaspoon salt
5 1/2 to 6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
5-6 RAW colored eggs
2 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
2 1/2 to 3 1/2 tablespoons orange juice
Warm the milk in a small saucepan, then pour 1/2 cup of it into a large bowl. Add the yeast and 1 tablespoon of the sugar and let it set for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, melt the butter in the remaining milk. Add the butter and milk mixture to the yeast mixture. Whisk in the eggs, juice, extract, 1/4 cup of sugar, orange rind, and salt.
Stir in the flour, 1 cup at a time, until the dough can be gathered into a ball. Knead the dough on a floured surface for 10 minutes, adding more flour until the dough is smooth and elastic and does not stick to your hands.
Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, turning it once to coat it. Loosely cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rise until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.
Punch down the dough and divide it into 5 or 6 equal parts. Roll each part into three ropes and braid the ropes together, Then, shape the dough into small braided rounds like a round nest, pinching together the ends to form a circle. Nestle an egg in the middle of the nest. The eggs must be raw eggs that have been colored in non-toxic food coloring. The egg will cook along with the bread and can be eaten as well. Some of the food coloring will bleed onto the bread which is why you want to make sure you use a non-toxic coloring substance. Transfer the rounds to a greased baking sheet and then place in the fridge overnight on Holy Saturday night. That will stall the second rise. When you are ready to bake on Easter morning, let the dough have a short second rise in a warm oven of about 30 minutes. Remove pans and heat the oven to 375°. Bake the bread for 25 minutes or until golden brown, then let it cool on a wire rack for about 30 minutes.
For the glaze, stir together the confectioner's sugar and orange juice in a medium bowl until smooth. Drizzle the glaze mix over the bread. You can also sprinkle with colored sugar, if desired.