Easter Cheese Bread


Crescia sal furmai or Crescia d'Pasqua (Cheese bread or Easter bread, in the local dialect from Fano, Italy) is a cheese bread commonly made for Easter. That Sunday morning is traditionally the only day of the year when Italians eat a savoury breakfast. The bread comes together with salami and boiled eggs, blessed during the Holy festivity, and washed down with red wine.

INGREDIENTS (12 serves) 600 g of flour 8 eggs 125 g of yeast 3 teaspoons of sugar 250 g grated parmigiano cheese

250 g grated seasoned pecorino cheese 200 g butter ½ glass of mixed seeds and olive oil ½ glass of milk 2 pinches of salt 2 pinches of pepper

DIRECTIONS

Dissolve the yeast and the sugar in lukewarm milk. Create a well on a pastry board with the flour, pour the yeast mixture and start kneading. Add 2/3 of the cheese and knead it. Whip the eggs (kept warm, about 40°C) , with salt, pepper and, later, rendered butter (even warm so it contributes to keep the cream warm) and the oil. Mix in the remaining cheese.

Add the cream to the dough in order to get an uniform and soft dough, but do not overwork it. To easy the process it is a good idea to oil the working surface to avoid it to get sticky; don’t use flour not to overdry the dough.

Split the dough in two balls and set them into two aluminium or glazed pots about 30 cm wide covered with baking paper. Let it leaven in a warm place till it doubles the volume (about 1-2 h). During the growing and baking processes move with care. Bake in a hot oven for 1h at 200 °C.

TIPS TO OTHER LONGITUDES

In the past, when people were less well-off, the bread was done with any cheese left over and too hard to be consumed otherwise. So you can actually try out different kinds of aged cheese. Some correct the flavour by adding grated lemon or nutmeg.

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