Casatiello is the most famous Easter bread in Italy. Typical of Naples, it is served on Easter morning with cheese and cured meat. It's a rich bread made with rustic ingredients as the tradition calls for, and is decorated with the classic trapped eggs.

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Recipe Summary

prep:
40 mins
cook:
1 hr
additional:
4 hrs 30 mins
total:
6 hrs 10 mins
Servings:
8
Yield:
8 servings
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Ingredients

8
Original recipe yields 8 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup warm water.

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  • Sift flour and salt onto a clean work surface; make a well in the center. Add yeast mixture and 1/4 cup lard to the well. Mix, adding remaining 1 cup water gradually, until dough comes together. Knead until dough is soft and smooth, about 10 minutes.

  • Transfer dough to an oiled bowl. Cover with a clean, damp cloth. Let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 90 minutes.

  • Place dough back on the work surface. Punch gently to deflate; roll into a big rectangle. Brush 1/4 cup lard on top; cover with Parmesan cheese and pepper. Fold dough in half to make a smaller rectangle. Brush 1/4 cup lard on top; cover with pecorino Romano cheese and pepper.

  • Fold dough again into a smaller rectangle. Brush remaining 1/4 cup lard on top; cover with salami chunks. Cut off a small portion of the dough; reserve.

  • Roll dough into a long cylinder. Place cylinder a grease ring cake mold. Cover with a damp cloth. Let rise in a warm place until more than doubled in volume, about 3 hours.

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).

  • Tuck whole eggs into the ring of dough at even intervals. Divide reserved dough into 12 pieces; roll into small ropes. Lay 2 ropes in a cross shape over each egg to hold them in place.

  • Bake in the preheated oven until golden, about 1 hour. Let cool before slicing.

Cook's Note:

This traditional bread calls for ciccioli, pressed cakes of fatty pork typical of old rustic Italian cuisine. They are made by compressing, drying, and aging fatty, leftover pieces of pork. If they are very hard to find, just replace with salami chunks.

Nutrition Facts

661 calories; protein 18.1g 36% DV; carbohydrates 65.6g 21% DV; fat 35.4g 54% DV; cholesterol 181mg 60% DV; sodium 673.2mg 27% DV. Full Nutrition
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