The Pascha Bread


2 lb pressed dry farmers cheese
20 eggs
1 c lukewarm water
2 lg yeast cakes
2 c sugar
12-17 cups flour
1 qt scalded milk
2 tbs salt
2 c raisins
1 c butter, melted

Cream the cheese with hands until smooth. Add 10 eggs and mix well.

Dissolve 1 yeast cake in 1/2 cup lukewarm water and add to the mixture. Add 1 cup flour and blend well. Cover and let stand overnight.

Next day: beat remaining eggs in large bowl and add to cheese mixture. Add sugar, salt and other yeast cake that has been dissolved in 1/2 cup warm water and blend thoroughly with hands. Add 12 cups flour and work until smooth. Add flour as necessary to use the 17 cups. Knead for about 30 min. or until smooth. Spread cooled melted butter over dough and knead for about 10 min.

Add raisins and knead until blended, cover and let rise about 2 hours. Punch down and let rise again until doubled. Divide dough in 8 portions. Shape loaves using a little flour for handling. Place in greased round 1-1/2 quart casserole.

Let rise until double. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour, after 30 min. cover with foil to prevent burning.

Crescia di Pasqua col Fomraggio

Very tasty and delicious.

To make FOUR (9 by 5 inch) loaves.

1 lb. BASIC BREAD DOUGH (recipe to follow)
8 cups flour
1 cup tepid water
1 cup tepid milk

TWO (1/4 oz.) packages active dry yeast OR two (3/5 oz) (18 g) cakes
fresh yeast
1 cup tepid milk
10 eggs
3 1/4 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup diced Gruyere cheese
10 Tbsp. butter, softened
4 Tbsp. lard, softened
1 Tbsp. salt

ON THE EVENING BEFORE MAKING THE BREAD, prepare a sour dough leaven by mixing the BASIC BREAD DOUGH with 1 cup of tepid water and 1 cup of tepid milk. Then sift the 8 cups of flour onto a work surface and make a well in the center. Pour the softened bread dough into the well and gradually work the flour into the dough, kneading for about 10 minutes, to make a firm, elastic dough. Form the dough into a ball. With a sharp knife, make two cuts in the shape of a cross on the surface of the ball of dough, to help the rising process. Cover and leave the dough in a warm place overnight.

THE NEXT DAY, stir the yeast into 1 cup of tepid milk, and set aside for about 10 minutes. In a large bowl,beat the eggs and add the Parmesan and Gruyere cheeses, the butter, lard and salt. Mix them all together thoroughly. Knead the yeast mixture into the sourdough, then work in the egg-and-cheese mixture, kneading until the mixture is soft and smooth, about 10 minutes.

BUTTER FOUR 9 by 5 inch loaf pans. Divide the dough into four portions, shape the portions into loaves and put them into the pans.
The dough should reach no higher than halfway up the sides of the pans. Let the loaves rise in a warm place for 30 minutes, or until the dough has risen to about 1/2 inch above the rims of the pans. Bake the loaves in a preheated 400 F. oven for 50 minutes, or until
the loaves are golden brown and sound hollow when they are rapped.


This recipe will produce enough dough for two 8 inch round loaves, two 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 rectangular loaves, two 14-inch cylindrical loaves or approximately thirty 30 inch rolls.

TO MAKE ABOUT 2 1/2 POUNDS DOUGH. You need for the above Italian Easter recipe 1 lb. Do this whole BASIC recipe do not divide...use the other 1 1/2 lbs to make rolls or bread.

6 cups flour (about)
1/4 oz. package active dry yeast or 3/5 oz. fresh yeast
1 to 2 tsp. salt
2 cups tepid water (about)

In a small bowl or a measuring cup, mix the yeast with the tepid water, and leave it to soften in a warm place for about 10 minutes. Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. Pour the yeast mixture into the flour. Mix the flour and liquid together into a stiff, sticky dough, adding more flour or tepid water if necessary.
Transfer the dough to a work surface and knead the dough for about 15 minutes, until it is elastic and glossy.

Shape the dough into a ball and return it to a clean bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in volume--process that may require from one to two and a half hours. The dough is ready when the insertion of a finger into it leaves a dent that does not immediately smooth out.

Punch the dough down with a blow of your fist. Put the dough on a work surface and cut it in half with a knife. Knead each half into a ball, cover the balls with a cloth and let them rise for 10 to 15 minutes. The dough is now ready for shaping and baking.

Piero Luigi Menichetti and Luciana Menichetti Panfili...Vecchia
Cucina Eugubina

Italian Crescia

Makes 2 loaves, 16 slices each.

Go to a good cheese store, where they'll let you taste the cheese before grating it very fine. Whatever you do, don't use cheeses that come in cardboard shakers the flavour just isn't there.

1/4 tsp granulated sugar 1 mL
1 cup warm milk 250 mL
2 tbsp quick-rising (instant) dry yeast 25 mL
3 eggs
2 egg yolks
2/3 cup butter, melted 150 mL
3/4 tsp pepper 4 mL
1/2 tsp salt 2 mL
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (approx) 875 mL
1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese 375 mL
1 cup grated Romano cheese 250 mL
1 egg white

In small bowl, dissolve sugar in milk. Sprinkle in yeast; let stand for 10 minutes or until frothy.

In large bowl, whisk together eggs, egg yolks, butter, pepper and salt until smooth; stir in yeast mixture. Beat in 3 cups (750 mL) of the flour in 3 additions; beat for 3 minutes. Beat in Parmesan and Romano cheeses until combined.

Turn out dough onto lightly floured surface. Knead, adding remaining flour if necessary to prevent sticking, for 5 minutes or until dough is stiff but elastic and somewhat moist.

Divide dough in half; shape each half into 8-inch (20 cm) square.
Roll up into cylinders. Place in 2 greased 8- x 4-inch (1.5 L) loaf pans. Cover and let rise in warm draft-free place for 3 hours or until dough comes about 1 inch (2 cm) above rim.

Whisk egg white until foamy; brush over tops of loaves. Bake in centre of 375°F (190°C) oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until deep brown and loaves sound hollow when tapped on bottom.

Turn out onto rack. Let cool. (Make-ahead: Store in resealable bags at room temperature for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 1 month.)

Tip: If your mixer has a dough hook attachment, it is advisable to use it for beating.

Substitution: For a slightly softer bread, you can use olive oil instead of the butter.

Canadian Living Cooks


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