The Pizza di Pasqua (Easter cheese bread) is one of the most well-known and cooked Easter dishes in the Marche region. It is a savory and tasty bread full of different types of cheese, pepper and eggs. The aroma of this freshly baked bread tempts to taste it right away together with a slice of salami or even better with the delicious soft and spreadable Marche “ciauscolo”: what a perfect combination! According to tradition, it appears that this recipe was prepared once a year immediately before Easter Sunday to celebrate the end of the lent season, that is why it’s told that the first Pizza di Pasqua were made in large quantity using even 40 eggs in order to eat them for several weeks! Nowadays, although families prepare the Pizza di Pasqua mostly during Easter time, it is possible to find this mouth-watering pie in bakeries all year long. And you can be sure that every family cookbook of the Marche worthy of the name includes this recipe! What more can we say except that Mom Gabri‘s recipe is a safe bet? 🙂
300 g grated Parmesan cheese
100 g grated Pecorino Romano cheese
400 g fresh Pecorino cheese
100 g brewer’s yeast
1 glass olive oil (EVO)
1 glass of milk
00 flour as needed (about 1100 g)
freshly ground black pepper
salt to taste
1. Whip the eggs, add quite a lot of freshly ground black pepper, the grated Parmisan cheese and Pecorino Romano cheese, a pinch of salt, a teaspoon of sugar and a glass of EVO oil. Melt the brewer’s yeast in a glass of lukewarm milk and add the milk and yeast mixture to the eggs.
2. Add as much flour as needed to make a homogeneous and quite soft dough. Mix and knead the dough well.
3. Grease a flared and tall mould (Gabri uses a mould 10 cm high and of 25 cm of diameter) and put the dough in it to reach half height of the mould. Then it is very likely that you will have some dough left, do not throw it away, use it to prepare some mini Pizza di Pasqua that you can serve as Italian appetizers to surprise your guests!
4. Dice the fresh Pecorino cheese (cut it into 1 cm cubes) and incorporate the cheese dices into the dough pressing them with a finger deeply into the dough all the way down to the bottom of the mould. Cover the dough with a kitchen towel and let it rise in a warm and dry place until it doubles in size.
5. Preheat the oven to 180° C and upon reaching the desidered temperature bake your Pizza di Pasqua. Cook it for about 45 minutes avoiding opening the oven door.
6. Let your Pizza di Pasqua cool down before removing it from the mould and putting it in a serving dish.
AND… BUON APPETITO!