A Northern Italian Easter Bread
While many recipes for Easter breads are sweet and egg topped, this traditional bread from Northern Italy, the area where my Mother was born, is savory and tasteful. The word cresca, itself means to rise or to grow and as you will be working with 2 packages of yeast you will see this happen. We put this bread on our Charchuterie Board along with olives, slices of salami and a few crudites to enjoy while we gather around socializing with a glass of our favorite wines or prosecco.
8 CUPS SIFTED FLOUR
¾ CUP MILK – lukewarm
1 TSP SALT
1 TSP PEPPER
2 PKGS DRIED OR COMPRESSED YEAST
1 ½ CUPS PARMESAN CHEESE – grated
6 EGGS – well beaten
¼ CUP OLIVE OIL
On a floured bread board or floured countertop, sift dry ingredients together. Make a well in the center and pour into the center, milk, yeast, eggs, and olive oil.
Knead dough until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Add enough flour to form a still dough if more is necessary.
Cover and let rise in a warm, draft free place until doubled in size – about 2 or 2 ½ hours.
Punch dough down. Cover and let rise again until doubled in bulk – about 30-45 minutes.
Turn dough out on to a lightly floured surface and shape into 2 round loaves which will fit a 9-inch pans. Cover and let rise for about 6 hours.
Bake for about 1 hour or until the loaves sound hollow when tapped.
Let cool in pan for about 10 minutes and then remove and let cool completely on a wire rack.