Pigne di Pasqua
This sweet bread is so delicious to eat either toasted for breakfast or as it is with a cup of coffee.
• 2 cups warm water
• 24 tsp dry yeast
• 6 kg plain flour
• 1 kg sugar
• 24 eggs, lightly beaten
• 1 cup oil
• 1 kg butter, melted and cooled slightly
• 600 ml cream
• 2 tsp vanilla essence
• Lemon zest, cinnamon & aniseed, to taste
• Rum (1 tbsp per egg)
1. Combine the yeast, warm water and 2 tbsp of flour. Set aside to prove for 20 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, on a large baking board combine all the remaining ingredients adding the yeast mixture once ready. Knead to form a soft, smooth dough.
3. Shape the dough into a ball shape, cover with several tea towels to keep warm and let rise for 2 hours.
4. Punch down the dough & knead for a further 5-10 minutes.
5. Divide the dough into small, round portions (the number of portions depends on how many you are making). Cover all portions and let rise for a further 2 hours.
6. Gently knead each round portion and shape into an oval. If desired, a boiled egg can be pushed into the centre of the oval.
7. Brush the pigne with milk and bake in a moderate oven for 35 minutes or until golden brown.