Sunday, April 17, 2011
It is the week before Easter, so in my Italian family that means it is time to make Easter Bread or Pane di Pasqualino. Under the supervision of my mother, Sarah Tursi, my brother Frank, has now taken over this task. He is pictured with his grand-daughter, Mia in Hawaii, teaching still another generation how to make this delicious and traditional, Easter treat.
I love it, hot out of the oven and smothered with butter. The anise seed is a bit tricky to find, it is sent to us by our cousins in Calabria, and they won't even reveal their source for obtaining the seed, I suggest that you use fennel seed to make your Easter Bread.
This bread is a sure sign of spring in our family and because it is an Easter bread, we often insert colored eggs between the braids. While the bread bakes, the eggs will cook. I like to use and odd number of eggs, for a more pleasing look.
Carmela Tursi Hobbins
PANE DI PASQUALINO
5 pounds of flour, plus 1 cup
1 teaspoon anise seed (optional)
6 eggs, beaten
2 cups milk
2 cups water
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 packages of 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 the flour, then add the butter and oil, and finally the liquid with the yeast.
Add salt and sugar. 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. Cover and let rise until double in size, about and hour. Brush with melted butter and bake in a pre- heated 375 degree oven for about 40 minutes.