This Pizza di Pasqua is traditionally served only on Easter morning in areas of central Italy (at least according to the interwebs). It is incredibly ethereal and light. In fact, as I researched this bread, I was continuously reminded that "this bread is very delicate." (With all of those warnings, I was a little nervous after my "collapsed savarin incident" that I'm trying to forget).
Pizza you ask? I know!! Pizza in Italy is not just the flatbread that we know and love.
This bread is almost like a cake, yet leavened by yeast. It looks like a tall domed panettone, but is much more airy and delicate and is faintly flavored with oranges and lemons.
It makes simply amazing French toast. Trust me.
The citrusy flavor in these loaves comes from the zest of 3 oranges and two lemons. Check out the lovely flecks of zest in this delicate slice!
Unless you have a very strong arm and a lot of stamina, you will need a stand mixer to make this dough. Even though the final bread is very cake-like, it requires a long beating time to develop the gluten so that the dough does not collapse. As I was reminded over and over again, "this bread is very delicate." You will notice this when you stir down the dough after the first rise. It just goes pffft.
One issue was that the top of the bread blackened very quickly. Next time, I will lower the oven temperature and tent the tops of the loaves with foil earlier to prevent this.
Do you love citrus? Do you love all things Italian? Do you love a delicate airy lightly sweetened bread? Give this one a try. Don't let the 10 egg yolks discourage you. You can always make meringue or macarons from the egg whites, right?
#TwelveLoaves is a monthly bread baking party created by Lora from Cake Duchess. #TwelveLoaves runs so smoothly thanks to the help of the lovely Renee from Magnolia Days and Heather from girlichef.
Let's see what all of our Twelve Loaves bakers baked with oranges this month:
- Blueberry Dreamsicle Orange Lower-Fat Quick Bread from Shockingly Delicious
- Brith with candied orange from Ma che ti sei mangiato
- It's Thyme for Orange Dinner Rolls from Cookistry
- Orange Biscuits from Magnolia Days
- Orange-Fennel Cake Doughnuts from girlichef
- Orange Marmalade Filled Sweet Rolls from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Orange Marmalade Scones from A Baker's House
- Orange Pull-Apart Bread from All That's Left Are The Crumbs
- Orange Pull Apart Bread with Orange Cream Cheese Glaze from Bakingyummies
- Orange Rolls from Basic N Delicious
- Orange Rosemary Boule from Food Lust People Love
- Orange You Delicious Honey Crescent Rolls from Kudos Kitchen By Renee
- Pizza di Pasqua from Karen's Kitchen Stories
- Rye and fennel seeds snails with blood oranges and red onion chutney from Rise of the sourdough preacher
- Strawberry and Orange Quick Bread with Candied Orange Marmalade from Hip Foodie Mom
Pizza di Pasqua
Adapted from The Italian Baker, Revised: The Classic Tastes of the Italian Countryside--Its Breads, Pizza, Focaccia, Cakes, Pastries, and Cookies
3 tsp instant yeast (I used SAF Gold)
1/2 C warm water
70 g (1/2 C) bread flour
Mix the sponge in the bowl of a stand mixer, cover with plastic wrap, and let sit for 60 minutes, until bubbly.
450 g (3 1/4 C) bread flour
10 large egg yolks
125 g (1/2 C plus 2 T) granulated sugar
1/2 C milk
zest from 3 oranges
zest from 2 lemons
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt
1 tsp salt
1/2 C plus 1 T unsalted butter at room temperature
- Add the flour to the sponge and beat with the paddle attachment for about a minute.
- Beat the egg yolks into the dough, one at a time.
- Add the sugar, and beat until incorporated.
- Add milk and beat until incorporated.
- Add the zests, the vanilla, the salt, and mix.
- While beating on medium, add the butter, 2 tablespoons at a time.
- Once the butter is incorporated, beat the dough on medium high for 10 minutes, until you have developed a very elastic dough.
- Cover the dough with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise until very puffy and nearly tripled in size, 1 to 3 hours, so watch closely.
- Stir down the dough and pour it into two 2-quart baking pans such as panettone molds or souffle dishes. High sided metal cake pans will also work. Do not worry about trying to actually shape the dough.
- Cover each pan with oiled plastic wrap and allow to rise until doubled. If you are using panettone molds, place them on a baking sheet.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- When the loaves are ready, place them in the oven. After 10 minutes, reduce the oven heat to 325 degrees F. Watch the loaves closely and tent with foil if they darken too quickly.
- Bake for another 25 to 30 minutes, until done.
- Let the loaves cool in the pans.
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