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Crescia, Easter & Christmas Bread from the Marche

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Crescia, Easter & Christmas Bread from the Marche: Moving in another direction, there have been a number of interesting recipes posted on the forum of late. In particular, one person asked for an Easter bread recipe, and Peg Polevari replied:

"Hi, I believe the recipe that you're referring to is called Crescia. My family is 3rd generation Marchegian and we always have this bread at Easter and at Christmas. I hope that you enjoy it!"

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound Pecorino Romano cheese (finely grated)
  • 1 dozen jumbo eggs (we always have used brown eggs)
  • 3/4 stick melted butter (cool after melting)
  • Wine glass of oil (LOL...the glass my Nonny used came to approximately 1/2 cup) I still use the same glass LOL
  • Black Pepper
  • Salt, a scant 1/2 tsp
  • Yeast cake, 1/2 pound (I get my yeast from a local Italian bakery that also makes bread...just
  • go in and ask for one pound of yeast...it comes frozen and you'll have to cut it in half and thaw)
  • Flour (twice as much flour as you have cheese...you may need to add to this when you start mixing the
  • dough...depending on the weather and the size of the eggs, which can make a difference)

Preparation:

Soften the yeast with lukewarm water.

Beat the eggs in a bowl. Mix in the butter, oil, and the yeast.

Grease a pan with shortening (the pan we use is the same one my Nonny used...a metal pan that is the size of what we call a Dutch oven type pan although my Uncle sometimes uses loaf pans)

Pour cheese and flour onto your board and mix together with black pepper until you see black specks (this is pretty much to taste as we like it peppery) add the salt and make a well in the center (if you're not used to using a board you can also use a HUGE bowl to mix it) Pour the liquid mixture in your well and start mixing the dry with the wet until you make a dough. This is where you may need to add more flour. Knead this very well. Put the dough into the greased pan and pat it down. Let it rise to the top of the pan (it might even be over the top) surface will bubble.

Bake approximately 1 hour at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, test by inserting a knife into the center...it should come out clean.

Sorry about some of the ingredient measurements being approximate but if you've ever used handed down recipes you'll understand.

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