Grandma's Easter Bread


A recipe from our friend Patricia Lilly. This "Pizza di Pasqua" was from her grandmother's family. Exquisite when lightly toasted and spread with butter and a small amount of honey!

Prep Time:
25 mins
Cook Time:
1 hrs 10 mins
Additional Time:
1 hrs 35 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs 10 mins
2 loaves


  • 5 cups bread flour, or more as needed

  • 1 cup white sugar

  • 2 tablespoons white sugar

  • cup grated Romano cheese

  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt

  • 1 cup warm water

  • 2 tablespoons active dry yeast

  • 1 medium serrano pepper, halved, seeded and stemmed

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

  • 3 large eggs, beaten slightly

  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract


  1. Combine 5 cups flour, 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, Romano cheese, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl; stir well and set aside.

  2. Stir warm water and yeast together in a small bowl. Set aside until dissolved and bubbly, 5 to 10 minutes.

  3. Zest and juice orange into a large bowl. Stir in melted butter, eggs, and vanilla extract until well combined. Stir in yeast mixture. Add flour mixture gradually, stirring as you go.

  4. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 8 to 10 minutes, adding up to 1 extra cup of flour as needed to keep dough manageable. Transfer to an oiled bowl, cover, and let rise until almost doubled in size, about 30 to 60 minutes.

  5. Punch dough down, cover and let rise again until almost doubled in size, 30 to 60 minutes.

  6. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Grease two 8-inch round loaf pans.

  7. Cut dough into 2 equal pieces and shape into loaves. Place in the prepared pans, cover, and let rise again until almost doubled in size, 30 to 60 minutes.

  8. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 70 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cook on a wire rack.

Cook's Notes:

Patricia's recipe called for shortening (Crisco(R)). I tried it with butter instead. Either should work.

You can use a combination of Romano and Parmesan cheeses.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

285 Calories
9g Fat
43g Carbs
8g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 16
Calories 285
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 9g 11%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Cholesterol 55mg 18%
Sodium 294mg 13%
Total Carbohydrate 43g 16%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Total Sugars 14g
Protein 8g
Vitamin C 4mg 19%
Calcium 74mg 6%
Iron 2mg 12%
Potassium 103mg 2%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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