As Easter Sunday approaches, bakers throughout the Christian world make eggy, brightly decorated breads to grace their Easter breakfast and dinner tables in celebration of the end of Lent. Here are eight of our favorite loaves, and the traditions behind them:
Russian bakers decorate the dome-shaped tops of their kulich, a golden-brown, yeasty Easter bread, with an egg wash or white glaze, chopped almonds, brightly colored sugar, currants, and candied orange peel.
In the Friuli region of Italy, the practice of preparing Gubana, a strudel-like Easter bread filled with walnuts, pine nuts, raisins, and cocoa, dates back to the 16th century.
Colomba Pasquale, an Italian Easter bread flavored with amaretto and decorated with candied almonds, is made of the same sweet dough as Christmas panettone. The bread's name, which means dove in Italian, comes from the traditional practice of molding the dough into the shape of a dove to symbolize peace. Get the recipe for Pandolce Alto »
This Easter delicacy from the Rhone-Alps region of France is perfumed with orange blossom water and molded into a full doughnut shape. Some bakers decorate the top with pink pralines, giving the bread a bright, festive hue.
Armenian cooks decorate Choreg, a braided, eggy Easter bread, with sesame or poppy seeds.