What do you eat on Pasquetta?
How do you make a crescia?
The entire beautiful bread begins with the yeast! You must proof your yeast and it does take a little patience.
- add the water to the bowl of the mixer, heat it up until it’s about 110F.
- stir in the sugar;
- sprinkle on yeast
- let it do it’s magic and proof, do not touch it while it blooms (could take 10-15 minutes)
It would have been better if her package had arrived the week before or even after Easter to just keep it simple. But I have to say, slices of salami and cheese and olives are what you eat with this gorgeous crescia!
I had my 3 sections divided, but something wasn’t looking right in the loaf once it was braided. So I took the section apart and rolled them out again. I persisted until it looked right, and this dough was forgiving. The scent of this Italian cheese bread baking is absolutely heavenly! I cannot wait to bake another one this weekend!
What cheese is used in a savory Italian Easter bread?
I added grated Grana Padano and also Asiago. You could add grated Parimigiano Reggiano or Pecorino Romano. You could add a combo of all of them, if you like. I liked the spicy touch of Asiago and I also added a little extra cracking of black pepper. All of the crescias I have seen are made in a panettone pan and are really high!
Other Easter recipes we love:
Crescia al Formaggio-Italian Easter Cheese Bread
- 2 1/2 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
- 1 tsp of sugar
- 3 large eggs at room temperature
- 1 large egg yolk white reserved
- 1/4 cup lukewarm water
- 1/4 cup 4 tablespoons softened butter
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground pepper black if you don't mind the specks, white if you do
- 1 1/4 cups freshly grated Parmeggiano-Reggiano Romano, or Asiago cheese, or a combination
- In a mixer, with a dough hook attachment, add the warm water (110F), yeast, and a teaspoon of the sugar. Mix until blended. In about 10-15 minutes the yeast will proof. In a small bowl, combine the flour, salt, pepper and cheese.
- Slowly mix in 1 cup of the flour mixture into the bowl with the activated yeast until combined. Mix in the eggs one at a time until they are combined. Add another 2 cups of the flour mixture, butter and salt. Mix together on medium-low speed stopping the machine to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Slowly add the rest of the flour and mix until combined. Stop the machine as you add each cup of the flour to scrape the sides of the bowl and incorporate the flour.
- Mix on low speed for 10 minutes until dough is incorporated. Be sure to give your mixer a break, as you don’t want to burn it out.
- Add flour if needed 1 tablespoon at a time. The dough will be a little sticky but also firm.
- Take dough out of mixer bowl, form into a ball and coat with a light film of canola oil (or whatever oil you prefer).
- Form the dough into a ball and place into an oiled bowl (when I put the dough in the bowl I swish the dough around the bottom of the bowl and then flip it over so all of the dough is covered in a light film of oil). Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise at room temperature until doubled in size (about 1-1 1/2 hours).
- Oil or flour your hands. To make a traditional round loaf, form the dough into a ball, and place it in a greased pandoro (star) or panettone pan; a large souffle dish; or another round, deep pan. The pan should be about 6" to 7" wide, and 3" to 4" deep.
- To make a pretty loaf, divide the dough into three pieces; roll each piece into a 12" log; and braid the logs. Nestle the braid into a lightly greased 9" x 5" loaf pan.
- Cover the loaf lightly, and allow it to rise for 1 hour (or longer, depending on the warmth of your kitchen, my loaf was ready to bake in one hour); the dough should have become noticeably puffy, though it won't have doubled in size.
- To bake the bread: Put your oven rack in a lower position, just below the middle, and preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes, until it's a deep, golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers 190°F. The braided loaf will require less time than the round loaf.
- Remove the bread from the oven, and let it cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Use a knife to loosen the edges, if necessary, and turn the loaf out onto a rack to cool completely before slicing.
- Store airtight, at room temperature, for several days. Freeze, tightly wrapped, for longer storage.