Make This Classic Italian Easter Bread Recipe

April 3, 2015 6:00 AM

Photo Courtesy of Simon And Schuster

Photo Courtesy of Simon & Schuster

Photo Courtesy of Simon & Schuster


Jody Scaravella is the creator of Enoteca Maria, which opened in 2007 on Staten Island, with its signature cooking by Italian grandmothers. Nonna’s House, the first cookbook inspired by the Nonna’s of Enoteca Maria is out now from sister company Simon & Schuster and available wherever books are sold.

Welcome to Nonna’s House! This new cookbook features food, nostalgia, and great traditions from the heart of Italy, with recipes and colorful stories from the internationally celebrated grandmothers of Enoteca Maria—a one-of-a-kind Italian restaurant where a rotating cast of nonnas are the star chefs. At Enoteca Maria on Staten Island, all the cooking is done by ten nonnas (grandmothers), drawing on their own family recipes, handed down for generations.

Restaurant founder Jody Scaravella says it best: “If I have a choice between a three-star Michelin chef’s restaurant and Grandma’s, I’m going to Grandma’s. I’m going to the source.” Try the stunning and delicious Easter Bread recipe, perfect for your Easter celebrations and for an authentic taste of Italy.

Italian Easter breads vary from region to region, town to town, and even family to family. Some are savory, like this one; others are sweet. On Easter morning, we serve this bread on a festive platter with slices of soppressata, ricotta salata, fennel, and hard-boiled eggs.

Related: Dominique DeVito’s Chocolate Mousse Holiday Recipe

Photo Courtesy of Simon & Schuster

Photo Credit: Frances Janisch


Easter Bread
La Tagliata Di Pasqua
8 Servings

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup warm milk (105° to 115°F)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 (1/4 ounce) package active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature, plus more for greasing
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1⁄ 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting and kneading
  • 4 ounces salumi, soppressata or prosciutto cotto, or a mixture, casings removed and meat diced
  • 1 ounce finely grated Pecorino Romano (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 ounce finely grated Grana Padano (about 1/4 cup)
  • 3 large hard-boiled eggs
  • sliced soppressata, for garnish
  • shaved ricotta salata, for garnish
  • trimmed, sliced fennel bulb, for garnish
Directions

  • Whisk the milk, sugar, and yeast in a small bowl and set aside until foamy, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the butter, 2 eggs, and salt until uniform. Stir in the flour until a soft dough forms. Lightly dust a work surface with flour, turn the dough out onto it, and knead for 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Gather the dough into a ball.
  • Lightly butter a large bowl, set the dough in it, and turn over to coat in the butter. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and set aside in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in bulk, about 1½ hours.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Flatten the dough; add the salumi, Pecorino Romano, and Grano Padano, and knead lightly until well incorporated. Divide the dough into two equal pieces; roll each piece into a 14 -inch-long strand. Pinch these two strands together at one end, then twist them together six times lengthwise to make a single coiled strand. Form the strand into a circle and pinch the ends to seal.
  • Lightly butter a large rimmed baking sheet. Transfer the coiled ring to it. Press the hard-boiled eggs at three equidistant spots around the coil, using the natural indentations caused by the crossing of the strands.
  • Whisk the remaining egg and 2 tablespoons water in a small bowl until foamy. Brush lightly over the bread. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and set aside in a warm, draft free place until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Bake until golden brown and hollow-sounding when tapped, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes or to room temperature, about 1 hour. To serve, slice the bread into wedges and surround these on a platter with soppressata, ricotta salata, and sliced fennel for garnish.

Related: The Pollan Family Table’s Butternut Squash Soup

Jody Scaravella is the creator of Enoteca Maria, which opened in 2007 on Staten Island, with its signature cooking by Italian grandmothers. Nonna’s House, the first cookbook inspired by the Nonna’s of Enoteca Maria is out now from sister company Simon & Schuster and available wherever books are sold.

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