Pane Di Pasqua is the Italian Easter Bread. It is an enriched bread made into beautiful wreaths or nests and studded with eggs. There is a lot of symbolism in this bread, but most importantly it is delicious.
Prep Time 30minutes
Cook Time 25minutes
Rising Time 2hours
Total Time 4hours
3 1/2 - 4CAP Flour / Bread Flour 400 g
2/3 CMilk Full fat or Skim
2 1/4TspActive Dry yeast1 pkt
1/2TspFine Sea Salt
1/4 CGolden Raisins or any dried fruitOptional
Sprinkles / Sparkling Sugar / Pearl Sugar As Needed
Raw Dyed EggsAs Needed (4- 6)
1 - 2TbspWater/Milk
Bloom Yeast/ Make Quick Sponge
Warm the milk to 110°F or just warm to touch. Make sure that the eggs and butter are at room temperature.
Take 1 C flour and 1/4 C sugar in the mixing bowl. Stir to combine. Sprinkle the yeast on top and pour about 1/2 of the milk. Mix and set aside for 10 minutes. The mix would have visibly puffed up by then.
Knead With Stand Mixer
Add the remaining milk, eggs, butter, salt, and 2 1/2 C flour to the bowl. Attach the dough hook and stir to combine for 30 seconds. Increase speed to low and knead for 2 minutes scraping down the sides in between. The dough will be very sticky. After 2 minutes of kneading if the dough is still sticking to the bowl, turn off the machine and add the remaining flour. Turn the machine back on and add the essence and zest. Knead for 2 to 3 minutes.
Turn the dough out to a floured work surface and knead by hand for about 1 minute. If adding dry fruit do it at this time. Form into a smooth ball.
Knead By Hand
Mix flour, salt, and butter into a pile on a well-floured kneading surface. Make a well in the middle and add the yeast mix. Beat the egg a little and add to the mix. Slowly incorporate the flour into the wet mix in the middle adding as much of the milk as necessary. Once the dough has comes together add the softened butter, essence, and zest. Knead for about 10 minutes until the dough feels soft and elastic and visibly shiny. It should no longer stick to the surfaces. If needed add a few more tablespoons of flour. Finally, add the dry fruit and knead for about a minute until the fruit is distributed evenly.
Bulk Proof / First Rise
Place the dough in a greased bowl and turn it over once to coat all sides with oil. Cover with plastic wrap (or a wet towel or a fairly tight lid) and allow the dough to rise in a warm place, about 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Shape and Rise
Gently punch down the risen dough to deflate. Transfer to a floured work surface and pat down to a thick rectangle. Divide into 12 even pieces.
Roll each piece to form a rope of about 14 to 16 inches in length. Take two ropes and twist them together. Loop the twist into a circle and interlace the ends and tuck them under. Transfer the circle onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
If making the filled circles, pinch off a piece from the rope before connecting the ends. Roll the pinched piece into a ball and place in the center.
Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to double in size, about 30 minutes.
Place the oven rack in the center. Preheat the oven to 350°F (170°C).
Beat 1 egg with 1 tsp of water to make the egg wash. Use a pastry brush to coat the tops of the loaves with egg wash. If not glazing later, sprinkle sugar or decorative sprinkles on top. Place the colored raw eggs in the middle of the shaped circles.
Transfer to the oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the tops of the bread begin to brown a little.
Transfer to a cooling rack.
Mix the confectioner's sugar, vanilla extract, and milk/water to form a thick paste. Drizzle over the warm loaves. Decorate with sprinkles
Use flour with good protein content.
You could let the dough rise slowly in the fridge (first rise/bulk proof) overnight.
Double the sugar for a sweeter version. In this case, the dough will need longer than 90 minutes to double in size.
You can easily double or triple the recipe.
When making the quick sponge make sure that you mix the flour and sugar before adding yeast.
If doubling sugar, add the extra sugar along with the extracts.
For detailed instructions go to https://oventales.com/pane-di-pasqua/ .