The center of a traditional Umbrian Easter Supper is the Pizza di Pasqua, or Crescia–a traditional savory bread served as a first course with hard boiled eggs and various salumi.
This year’s Pizza appears to be a real success! It is light and moist, not the dull, brick that I usually produce. The biggest difference this year from the past is that I left the dough quite wet and sticky. In the past I think I’ve over floured the recipe. I expected the dough to be more like a pasta dough, which is not sticky. I stopped working the pizza dough once is started coming off the mixing bowl although it was still sticky enough to coat my fingers.
I punched the dough down after the initial rise, and let it rise a second time. Next time I think I will only do one rise, in the pot I intend to bake it in. The you tube video I most appreciate demonstrates a wonderful Crescia recipe (with wood burning stove!) and they do only one rise. The second rise is never as high as the first, so I think I will give that a try next time.
Crescia / Pizza di pasqua / Linda’s version
2 dried packets of yeast mixed with
1.75 cups warm water
Scant teaspoon sugar
Left to grow for 10 mins
7 large eggs
½ cup olive oil
1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 tablespoon sea salts
4 oz young Pecorino cubed (small ¼”)
4 oz Parmigiano cubed (small ¼”)
1 cup Pecorino grated
1 cup Parmigiano grated
2 tablespoons finely chopped rosemary
8 cups bread flour
In a big bowl, beat first the 7 eggs, then add the olive oil, salt, pepper, and grated cheese. Mix thoroughly.
Add the yeast mixture to the egg mixture and stir until combined.
Add half the flour and stir. (start with the whisk, then eventually use hands when the dough is too thick)
Continue to add flour one cup at a time until you create a firm dough that is rather sticky. (the dough is quite sticky, much stickier than for pasta, it still clings to the fingers but comes away from the bowl) Fold in the diced cheese as you work the dough.
Knead for about 5 minutes or until the cheese has been incorporated into the dough, and the dough is smooth but sticky.
Lightly oil a large bowl with olive oil add the dough and lightly oil the top of the dough also, and let the dough rise until doubled, covered with a damp tea towel, in a warm spot. 1.5-2 hours.
Punch down the dough and form it into a ball and place it into the prepared dish.
<<Next time I will omit this step, instead doing the initial rise in a prepared cooking pot>>
<< all the cheese makes the bread want to stick to the pot even if coated with olive oil. Maybe butter and flour the pot or even cut a round of parchment paper for the bottom?>>
Preheat oven to 375 F . Cover the bread with a kitchen towel and let it rise for about 30 minutes.
Bake the bread for about 45 to 50 minutes (I use a la cruset pot #22) or until it reaches an internal temperature of 180F.
Let the bread cool for 10 minutes, remove it from the baking dish and let cool to room temperature–(although it is really yummy warm out of the oven, a reason to double the recipe!)
Many thanks to You Tube Umbria Lovers, for their great video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V2-YR0eGkto
City boy hens for his recipe: http://cityboyhens.com/food/crescia-the-easter-bread-from-le-marche/
Italian food lover: http://www.italianfoodforever.com/2015/03/crescia-umbrian-easter-cheese-bread/