Sunday, March 16, 2008


Greetings from Carmela's Cucina,
It was always a sure sign of spring when my mother’s beautiful PANE DI PASQUALINA appeared. And since we could all use a dose of springtime around now, the recipe of the month for March is her Easter Bread. My grandmothers and mother always nestled eggs into the intertwined braids of the bread. Eggs are a symbol of the renewal that we experience during the season of Easter. I like to color my eggs first and then put them into the bread. Simply dye uncooked eggs as directed on the package of Easter Egg Dye. The eggs will cook as the bread bakes. Using an odd number of eggs will give the Easter Bread a more pleasing look. I hope you and your family will enjoy this special bread this Easter morning.

5 pounds of flour plus 1 cup
3 teaspoons of anise seeds (optional)
6 eggs, beaten
2 cups milk
2 cups water
½ stick butter, softened
½ cup of oil
4 packages dry yeast
5 teaspoons salt
5 teaspoons sugar
3 - 5 eggs per loaf nestled into the bread
Use colored sprinkles for added fun.

In a large bowl, mix flour and anise seed together. Scald milk and water, let cool, and then add yeast. Add eggs to flour, then add the butter and oil and finally add the liquid with the yeast. Add sugar and salt. Knead the mixture until elastic; it may need a little more water. Cover the bowl of dough, and put it in a warm place to rise.Let the dough rest for about an hour. Knead again for about 10 minutes, and let rest again for about an hour. Divide the dough into 15 balls and roll each ball into a rope about 25 inches long. Take three ropes and braid them together.On a greased cookie sheet, form the braid into a ring. Add the uncooked eggs between the braids. Cover the bread and let rise until double in size, about an hour. Brush with melted butter and bake at 375 degrees for about 40 minutes. Makes 5 loaves.
Buona Pasqua e Buon Appetito,
Carmela Tursi Hobbins

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