6 extra large eggs (at room temperature)
1 2/3 cups sugar
Zest and juice of half a lemon
1 cup light olive oil
1 cup whole milk (at room temperature)
Two envelopes of active dry yeast, you can use SAF Gold or Fermipan Brown yeast as these yeasts work especially well
7 cups all purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
Oil for "proofing" the bowl
12 small eggs for decorating, (You can also use hard-boiled eggs that have been colored)
1 egg for egg wash
Juice of half a lemon
1 1/4 cups confectioner's sugar
Multi-colored candy sprinkles for decorating (optional)
In large bowl, whisk together large eggs and granulated sugar until combined.
Whisk in lemon zest and juice.
In a medium size bowl, combine olive oil and milk. Add in yeast and whisk until incorporated.
Pour yeast mixture into egg mixture and whisk to combine.
Whisk in flour one cup at a time until you've added 6 cups, waiting for each cup of flour to be incorporated before adding more.
The texture of the dough should be soft but not sticky. If the dough is sticky, continue adding more flour a little at a time.
Turn dough out onto floured board and knead until smooth, approximately 5 minutes — continue to lightly dust board with flour while kneading to avoid sticking.
Lightly coat the inside of a large, clean bowl with oil. Shape dough into round, and place in bowl. Rub additional oil on top of dough, and cover with plastic wrap.
Cover bowl with a dish towel, and let dough rise in a warm, draft-free place until it's doubled in size; approximately 1 1/2 hours.
Shape dough into twists, rounds, and doves, Use small uncooked eggs for the decorations if you like. They will cook while the bread is baking.
Place shaped breads on baking sheets that have been lined with parchment paper and dusted with flour. Cover with dish towels and let rise for approximately 1 1/2 hours. To test if dough has risen enough at this point, drop a small piece into a bowl of warm water. If it floats, it's ready for baking. If it sinks, the dough needs to rise more.
Preheat oven to 275°F.
Brush egg wash onto the breads or leave plain, as they can be brushed with glaze after baking.
Bake breads in bottom third of oven until golden, approximately 15 to 25 minutes depending on size. Check the breads midway through baking to make sure the bottoms aren't getting too dark. If this happens, switch breads to a higher rack in oven.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine lemon juice and sugar to make glaze.
When breads come out of oven and are still hot, brush those that haven't been egg-washed with glaze, and sprinkle with multi-colored candy sprinkles, if desired.