GREETINGS FROM CARMELA'S CUCINA,
Easter Bread is a tradition among Italian families.(www.wikipedia.org/wikiEaster_bread ) It was always a sure sign of spring when my mother's beautiful PANE DI PASQUALINA appeared.
The colored eggs intertwined in the braids are a symbol of the renewal that we experience at this time of the year. I hope you will try the recipe below and that your family enjoys it as much as ours.
Carmela Tursi Hobbins
PANE DI PASQUALINO
5 pounds of flour plus 1 cup
3 teaspoons of anise seed (optional)
6 eggs, beaten
2 cups milk
2 cups water
1/2 stick butter, softened
1/2 cup oil
4 packages dry yeast
5 teaspoons salt
5 teaspoons sugar
In a large bowl, mix flour and anise seed together. Scald milk and water, let cool and then add yeast. Add eggs to flour and then add the butter and oil, and finally, add the liquid with the yeast. Add sugar and salt. Knead the bread mixture until elastic-it may need a little more water. Cover the bowl, and put it in a warm place.
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, for the braid into a ring, insert dyed Easter eggs between the braids. Cover the bread and let it rise until double in size, about an hour. Brush with melted butter and bake at 375 degrees for about 40 minutes.
Makes 5 braided rings.