Italian Easter brioche with encased eggs
From the north to the south Italians have different regional Easter recipes.
In the South from the Treccia Pasquale in Puglia, to the Casatiello in Naples and to the Cuzzupe in Calabria you will find different types of baking savoury or sweet. Their recipes vary a little but what they all have in common is that they have real eggs attached. Eggs are certainly one of the most classic symbols of Easter: they mean new life and rebirth.
They make for such pretty baking. I chose the sweet version of them as they will look gorgeous on the Easter festive table. Because they are made with yeast for bread baking you will need to let them rise for a few hours but it is certainly worth it. You will get the texture of brioche bread: soft, fragrant and simply delicious.
Definitely worth a try!
- Melt the yeast with the lukewarm water then add 5 tbsp of flour. Mix the ingredients well and make a ball. Put it in a bowl covered with a cloth and let it rise for an hour in a warm place.
- When it has risen well, add the rest of the flour, sugar, 3 eggs, lemon and orange zest and the melted butter. Work the dough energetically with your hands for about 10 minutes. It should be slightly on the sticky side.
- Divide the dough into 3 and roll it on the table with your hands making long stripes. Make a plait out of them leaving just a small quantity of dough to decorate over the eggs.
- Now join both ends of the plait making a ring and lay it on a greased baking tray. Let it rest for 2-3 hours covered with a cloth in a warm place.
- Place the 4 eggs into the dough, make a cross over them with the dough stripes. Beat an egg and brush it all over the cake and cook at 180C for 30 minutes until golden.