The word ‘cresca’ simply means “to rise” or “to grow”. In this recipe, you will see this happen because you will be working with 2 packages of yeast. While many recipes for Easter breads are sweet and egg-topped, this traditional bread from Northern Italy is also savory and tasteful. My mother was actually born in Northern Italy, so cresca bread is very homey and familiar to me. We put this bread on our charcuterie board along with olives, slices of salami and a few crudités to enjoy. And finally, a glass of our favorite wines or prosecco completes this kind of setting while we gather around socializing and enjoying.
- 8 cups sifted flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 ½ cups parmesan cheese – grated
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¾ cup milk – lukewarm
- 2 packages dried or compressed yeast
- 6 eggs – well beaten
- On a floured bread board or floured countertop, sift dry ingredients together.
- Make a well in the center and pour milk, yeast, eggs, and olive oil into the center.
- Knead a dough until smooth and elastic for about 10 minutes. Add more flour to form a still dough if necessary.
- Cover the dough and let it rise in a warm, draft free place until double in size. This will take about 2 or 2 ½ hours.
- Punch the dough down. Cover it and let it rise again until double in bulk. This will take about 30-45 minutes.
- Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured surface and shape it into 2 round loaves that will fit in a 9-inch pan. Cover it and let it rise for about 6 hours.
- Bake for about 1 hour or until the loaves sound hollow when tapped.
- Let it cool in the pan for about 10 minutes. Then, remove it and place it into a wire rack to completely cool.