Mar 15, 2020

Crescia al Formaggio | Italian Easter Bread

This Crescia al Formaggio is an amazing cheesy Italian Easter bread. It's definitely a cheese lover's bread. 


Crescia al formaggio bread





I admit it. I'm always drawn to cheese bread. Given a choice between savory or sweet bread, I gravitate for anything savory.

This is an egg bread that is also loaded with parmesan cheese. When it bakes, your house will smell divine. This bread reminds me of casatiello, which is a cheesy Italian bread that also include meats such as salami.


Crescia al formaggio bread in a pan






This bread can also be made in a pandoro pan or a panettone paper, making it extra festive for Easter. I braided the dough and made it in a loaf pan, making it super easy to use for sandwiches.

While probably not authentic, I added a tablespoon of freshly minced oregano and a pinch of crushed red pepper to this bread, making it extra flavorful.

This bread is native to the central regions of Italy, including Umbria, Abruzzo, Molise, Lazio, and Le Marche. It's traditionally served with Italian-style cured meats such as salami.

What cheese can you can use in savory Italian Easter bread? 


I used Parimigiano Reggiano in this loaf, but Pecorino Romano, Grana Padano, or Asiago, or a combination of any of these cheeses would work just as well. They are all hard salty Italian cheeses.


Crescia al formaggio bread sliced





Ideas for serving crescia al formaggio.



Be aware that the texture of this bread is not soft after the first day. This bread is best when it's toasted and the cheese melts. The toast is great with a little bit of butter, salami or other Italian deli meats, or spread with hot marinara sauce.

You can also cut the toasted slices of bread and dip them into hot Italian tomato sauce.

I also toasted this bread for breakfast and topped it with a fried egg, which was pretty darn delicious. You can also use this bread to make grilled cheese sandwiches. Yes... more cheese.


Crescia al formaggio bread





How to make crescia al formaggio. 



First, combine the flour, yeast, eggs, butter, water, and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium with the paddle attachment for 10 minutes, scraping down the bowl with a dough scraper every few minutes. The dough magically came together at about the 9 minute mark.

Next, switch to the dough hook and mix in the grated cheese and oregano.

After that, let the dough rise for an hour, deflate it, and let it rise for another hour.

Next, braid the dough and place it into an oiled 9 inch by 5 inch loaf pan. Let the dough proof for at least two hours.

Finally, bake the bread for 45 minutes, tenting with foil about 15 minutes into the bake.


Crescia al formaggio bread sliced with tomato sauce





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Crescia al formaggio shaped dough





Crescia al Formaggio (Italian Easter Bread)


This Crescia al Formaggio, an Italian Easter bread, is pretty spectacular. It's cheesy, herby, and delicious.

This Crescia al Formaggio is an amazing cheesy Italian Easter bread. It's definitely a cheese lover's bread.

Crescia al Formaggio


This Crescia al Formaggio is an amazing cheesy Italian Easter bread. It's definitely a cheese lover's bread.
Yield: 16 servings
Author:
This Crescia al Formaggio is an amazing cheesy Italian Easter bread. It's definitely a cheese lover's bread.

Ingredients:

  • 298 grams all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp instant yeast (I used SAF Gold)
  • 3 large room temperature eggs
  • 1 egg yolk from a large egg
  • 1/4 C lukewarm water
  • 4 T softened butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • Large pinch of crushed red pepper rubbed between your hands to release the flavor
  • 1 1/2 T minced fresh oregano
  • 170 g freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions:

How to cook Crescia al Formaggio

  1. Add all of the ingredients except the cheese and oregano to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium with the paddle attachment for 10 minutes, scraping down the bowl with a dough scraper every few minutes. The dough should be shiny and sticky, and begin to clear the bowl. For me, this happened suddenly and magically at about nine minutes.
  2. Switch to the dough hook and add the cheese and oregano. Knead until everything is combined.
  3. Move the dough to a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let it sit for about an hour.
  4. Turn the dough over and gently deflate it (if it rose at all), and let it sit for another hour.
  5. Weigh the dough and divide it into three equal pieces. Roll the pieces out into 12 inch logs and braid the dough. Check out this post to see a cool braiding technique. Spray a 9 inch by 5 inch loaf pan with spray oil and place the braid in the pan.
  6. Allow the dough to rise for at least two hours and possibly more, depending on the room temperature. The dough will not double, but will get puffy.
  7. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  8. Bake the bread for 15 minutes and then lower the oven to 350 degrees F and tent the bread with foil. Bake the bread for another 30 minutes. The bread should reach an internal temperature of 190 degrees F.
  9. Remove the bread from the oven and allow it to cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Turn the bread out of the pan and allow it to cool completely on a wire rack.
Calories
161.86
Fat (grams)
7.54
Sat. Fat (grams)
3.99
Carbs (grams)
16.38
Fiber (grams)
0.82
Net carbs
15.56
Sugar (grams)
0.13
Protein (grams)
6.90
Sodium (milligrams)
378.93
Cholesterol (grams)
74.80
bread, Easter, Crescia
Bread
Italian

Did you make this recipe?
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Created using The Recipes Generator

This recipe was adapted from King Arthur Flour

This recipe was originally posted in March, 2013. I updated this post with new photos, instructions, and a printable recipe card. You need to make this!

20 comments:

  1. Gorgeous bread :-)

    If it makes you feel any better, I have been known to browse cake recipes while on the elliptical...

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  2. I love cheese breads, too! I just found an Italian Easter one I have to try. I just need to gather the 4 different cheeses and make it;)Your crescia is just gorgeous, as always. So nice to have you bake with us at #TwelveLoaves.

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  3. This was delicious! Love the cheese in a savory bread.

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    Replies
    1. Oooh! You made this? So excited that you loved it!

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    2. I will be looking for it! BTW, I recently got a ton of traffic from your post of the Rgaif recently! That post must have gone crazy for you!

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    3. It is currently my #2 recipe due to pinterest. Thanks for such a great recipe! Glad it is getting you a lot of traffic too!!

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  4. Oh my goodness how gorgeous is that loaf!! I can only imagine the smell while baking. Yumm!

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  5. Bread with cheese? Yep! I'm in!

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  6. This looks amazing and those flavors are reaching out to me.... eat me!!

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  7. My mother used to make an amazing cheese bread. And I love the herbs in this. Top of my list as soon as get off keto!

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  8. Oh my gosh! This bread is perfection. I wish you lived closer...I'd be over all the time to eat and learn!

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  9. Such a beautiful loaf! I am thinking this would make some incredible grilled cheese sandwiches with Italian cold cuts in them.

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