HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


italian easter bread

i remember my grandmother making this "bread" at easter. it was a sort of dough, maybe not bread because it was sweet but she put a whole egg in it and criss crossed the dough. is there a name for this and any recipes would be appriciated.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
    1. I just came across a "how to" in an older Bon Appetit cookbook.... maybe they have a link on epicurious.

      1. My grandmother made it too. You can use a sweet yeast dough or a cookie dough such as that for pizzelle (waffle cookies) and put in anise seed if you like it.
        My grandmother made dolls for the girls, ponies for the boys and wreaths for the adults. They are typical of the Abruzzo region and when I went to Il Museo de la Gente Abruzzese in Pescara, a fabulous museum, I was surprised and pleased to see them displayed.

        Betty B.

        1. i make this bread every year. it's typical italian sweetness meaning, not too sweet and a bit dry. i loooove it. my grandmother taught me. not only is there a bit of egg in the dough, there are hardboiled eggs on top. And i make in the shape of a wreath. I'm going to try and attach a photo.....
          I'm packing for a move but will be making the bread next week. Let me know if you'd like the recipe. it's been in the family for probably over 50 years.

          14 Replies
          1. re: eLizard

            yes eLizard i would loe the recipe, thanks so much. and good luck with your move.

            1. re: winebarb

              i found a copy on my hard drive....

              Take note that I did the whole thing in the KA mixer:

              Pastelli Di Pasqua
              4 C flour
              4 t baking powder
              1/2 C shortening
              4 raw eggs
              1/4 C orange juice
              1 C sugar
              2 t vanilla
              12 hard-boiled colored eggs (i only used 6)
              1 egg, beaten
              colored sprinkles

              sift flour, baking powder, and salt on board. Cut in shortening. Add raw eggs one at at a time; mix. Add orange juice, sugar, and vanilla. Mix until dough is soft. Knead 10 minutes, or until smooth and satiny. Place in covered bowl; set aside 1/2 hour.

              Roll dough under palms of hands on floured board; flatten slightly; shape into large ring. Press colored eggs on top of ring; brush with beaten egg; dust with sprinkles; bake in hot over (425 degrees) 30 minutes, or until golden brown.

              Please let me know how it turns out. I think it's really delicious. Not overly sweet, crumbly. But the memories are really what I love about the bread.

              1. re: eLizard

                Thanks eLizard for the recipe. I'm going to try your version. It sounds beautiful.
                Are you Abruzzese?

                1. re: Betty Buldan

                  please tell me how it turns out! i'm sicilian.

                  1. re: eLizard

                    Hi, eLizard, I'm Sicilian, too, and my mom and aunts always made this Easter bread, each one with their own "touch" to make it distinct to them. We all called it the same thing, but I've never seen anything in a cookbook that resembles phonetically the name of this sweet bread. Okay..here goes (phonetically, of course): kadooda-callo. Any idea how it's really spelled or if there is a similar name for it?
                    Thanks, Liz.

                    1. re: eLizard

                      It turned out great and my husband and friends were impressed! It looked like your photo. 6 eggs seemed to be just right; 12 might look a little crammed in.
                      A cousin who speaks fluent Italian informed me that the word for "doll" is pupa or pupattola, which with a little imagination could sound like "bubba-glove" or "kadoodle." "Horse" is "cavallo" and that sounds very much like "callo." This might solve the mystery of Liz's and Pungo's names for the Easter bread. Maybe their grandmothers made some in those shapes like mine did.
                      Betty B.

                  2. re: eLizard

                    This sounds great (I love doing traditional foods-- I always make corned beef for St. Pat's day and brisket for Passover, and I'm neither Jewish nor Irish).

                    Does anyone eat the eggs in this thing, or they only for decoration?

                    1. re: DGresh

                      i eat the eggs for the past 30 years and i'm still standing!

                      1. re: eLizard

                        oh I wasn't worried that they would be bad for you, just wondering whether they, you know, tasted good :)

                    2. re: eLizard

                      eek! how much salt? (I'm about to make this; will likely wing it)

                      1. re: DGresh

                        1/2 a teaspoon! oops. like i said i was moving and it was an old copy on my hard drive. i made mine last night, and it came out beautiful. i'll post pictures later!

                        1. re: eLizard

                          Thanks; I looked at some other recipes using similar ingredients and added 1 tsp-- it came out great-- thanks--

                    3. re: winebarb

                      My Sicilian grandmother used to make this every Easter and I've been hoping to find it one day - Thank you!

                      1. re: Giteacher2

                        Good morning,

                        The name of the bread is " sician Easter Ring. It is a mildly sweet bread that I make every Easter, I am making it now.


                  3. My mom had her own way of making that easter bread... we call it Buba-glove. But you say it with an Italian accent lol. I believe that is how its spelled. Anyway... seeing how my mom had to keep us (seven) kids entertained while growing up. She had us make individual Buba-gloves. We each got a piece of dough and an a colored egg. We than made our own. Well, several each actually. Than with just the dough.... made braids... some straight, some were curled up like a bun. It's a great way to keep good memories while you still have your kids at home. She passed away about 4 yrs ago. However, the tradition has been passed down to my siblings and myself to this day.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: Pungo

                      Pungo, that's what it's all about, the tradition. i'm trying to keep it alive for my little boy. thanks and have a happy easter.

                      1. re: Pungo

                        Ok... I found my mom's recipe for the Easter bread.

                        Booba-glove :

                        mix/cream together
                        1/2 c Crisco (butter flavored is my choice)
                        1 1/4 sugar
                        3 eggs
                        2 tsp vanilla (I use almond extract at times)

                        Add :
                        6 c All-Purpose Flour
                        4 tsp baking powder
                        1 c milk
                        bake at 350 for 15-20 min... brush with egg/milk wash.. bake 5 min more till light brown
                        We make individual Boobas .... trying to attach pics. Happy Easter everyone.

                        1. re: Pungo

                          she probably said pupa con l'ova

                          1. re: Pungo

                            pupa con l'ova or doll with egg (in Sicilian) and I understand how that sounds like buba-glove.

                          2. Wonderful kids' book by Tomie de Paolo called Watch Out for the Chicken Feet in Your Soup has an Italian grandmother making bread dolls for her jealous grandson's guest...and an extra-special one for him. Recipe in the back!

                            1. Hi, this is a great post as many people don't know much about this bread and the meaning behind it. This is a ancient bread dating far back, and is named in many regions as the "PINA" bread. Pronounced more like pinya in English. The traditional shape varies from regions in Italy, but is usually done as a circle with a single braid at the bottom, and a single whole egg placed at the center of the circle. Exactly the same shape as we see on bumper stickers today that have the "Support Our Troops" The ribbon we see, but with the egg on top. To Catholics the bread really signified The mother Mary, and cradling the new born infant Jesus "represented as the egg in the circle. My grandmother and Father both came from Italy. One from the North and One from the south of Italy. And both were custom to this wonderful Easter bread we still make every easter. Good luck in finding recipes in search engines. This is a very hard to find recipe and all recipes vary for this bread. One thing all regions have in common about the Pina Bread. Is Anise spice, and the Egg, or Eggs. Thanks for a great post!

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: Chipmaster86

                                Would you happen to know about the Sweet Bread with 1 Egg Hidden inside ? If so, what is the meaning to whom ever gets the slice of bread with the Egg?
                                I do the Italian individual breads with the colored egg in the middle, but always wondered if there was a tradition behing the hidden Egg. Thanks

                                1. re: bettiboop1

                                  hi i use to have a mother in law siciliean and sh e made this colomba bread but sh e layered it with meats and cheeses and hard boiled eggs sliced i would like th e recipe for making the dough i know she use to glaze it with egg whites and then baked its very rich can t eat much at one sitting please let me know i f u have the right recipe for the bread ty old recipes are the best her family came from italy back in th e day

                                  1. re: SweetDutchess1

                                    That's called Pizza Rustica or Easter Pie, you can google for thousands of recipes, hopefully one would be like your mother in laws. For example http://www.recipezaar.com/cookbook/Pi...

                                    1. re: coll

                                      I posted a recipe here on one of the what you're baking threads in April...

                              2. I can post a recipe, but only if you wish me to. This will be old recipe of long ago. Sincerely. Raimondo or Ray if its easier

                                13 Replies
                                1. re: Chipmaster86

                                  I would be very interested. I make this some years, but the recipe I use is Greek. It has anise but also orange peel. The first time I brought it to my husband's grandmother (Abruzzi) for Easter, she loved the shape but I think the flavor was too different from hers.

                                  1. re: coll

                                    In Sicily; it's pupa cu l'ova, and here's a recipe ( there are others, just google):

                                    1. re: obob96

                                      I guess mine is totally different except for the shape, it calls for yeast and has a texture like challah bread!

                                    2. re: coll

                                      Sure coll! Give me a few days to locate my mom's book, since this is something I do for easter. And since we just moved, I need to dig out some books of my own too. No Problem. Will reply a.s.a.p.

                                      1. re: Chipmaster86

                                        That's great, I'm looking for the recipe that I made previously and I can't seem to find it myself!!!! Any time before Easter is fine ;) I'm sure my husband's family will be impressed.

                                        1. re: Chipmaster86

                                          I've been searching for a recipe for years! No one in my family can make them like my great grandmother from Abruzzi did. Please, may I have your recipe? I'd love to give it a try! Thank you!

                                        1. re: Chipmaster86

                                          I apologize for my post as promised to give you a recipe. My mother passed away soon after the post. So I will work to get that recipe. I did find a post for the Anise Easter Bread that remember is so close to my moms recipe. So enjoy until I get the right one from mom. This recipe is very close to my moms. Even the damp cloth part!

                                          Original Recipe Yield 1 loaf

                                          3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
                                          1/4 cup white sugar
                                          1 teaspoon salt
                                          1 (.25 ounce) package rapid rise yeast
                                          2/3 cup milk
                                          1 teaspoon anise extract
                                          2 tablespoons butter at room temperature
                                          2 eggs

                                          1 egg, beaten
                                          1/2 tablespoon colored candy decorating dragees, or as desired

                                          Mix 1 cup of flour with sugar, salt, and yeast in a bowl, stir well. Place milk and anise extract into a small saucepan over low heat, and warm to about 110 degrees F (43 degrees C). Make a well in the center of the flour mixture with your hand, and pour in the milk mixture; swirl with your hand in a circular motion to combine the flour mixture with the milk mixture. Mix in butter and eggs, one at a time, then mix in remaining flour until dough begins to pull together.
                                          Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface, and knead until soft but elastic, about 8 minutes. Cover with a damp cloth, and let dough rest for 10 minutes; cut dough into halves.
                                          On floured work surface, roll each half into a ball, then shape the balls into 2 long pieces, about 1 1/2 inches thick and 18 to 20 inches long. Pinch the 2 top ends together, and loosely twist the pieces to form a twisted loaf; pinch the bottom ends together, and tuck the two ends underneath the loaf. (Alternately, form the twist into a ring, and pinch the ends together.)
                                          Grease a baking sheet, lay the loaf onto the prepared sheet, and cover with a damp towel; let rise until doubled, about 1 hour. Brush loaf with beaten egg, and sprinkle with colored decorating dragees.
                                          Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Bake the decorated loaf in the preheated oven until golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Watch closely towards the end of the baking time that the bread does not begin to burn. Transfer to wire rack immediately after baking to cool.

                                          1. re: Chipmaster86

                                            Just in time! I'm making this bread Saturday, although it may be a blend of a couple of recipes (not so big on the sprinkles, dragees etc, I want to put some hard boiled eggs on top instead, but the bread is the main thing). Thank you for remembering after all this time.

                                            1. re: coll

                                              Me too! I always wait for this time of year to do it. I keep seeing this name thingy pop up for this bread. But every region has its own name. Even it is called "Pastelli Di Pasqua" in Northern Tuscan Italy. Or "Pupa cu l'ova" in Southern, Calabria and Sicilian regions. My mother called it PINYA bread. Non-the less. This is the best bread for any time, especially Easter! And great for tea time in the summer as well! Enjoy!

                                              1. re: Chipmaster86

                                                my grandmother had a recipe for Pigna bread also. it could not have been spelled the way you have spelled it for the y which is Greek sounds like the letter i. the g before the n makes the n sound like the Spanish n with the tilde. Italy wasn't united until after 1860 so you have as many languages (dialects) as provinces. it really doesn't matter what they call it they are still great eats.

                                                1. re: tytyvyllus

                                                  I agree. But you are spending to much time on this "what it is called" part. As it is not relevant. The Greek letter or not. This is a translation for English pronunciation for the word Piña. We don't have the tilde in English. Was just used as a translation. Besides this is a recipe forum not a dictionary forum.

                                                  1. re: tytyvyllus

                                                    Besides I am cento porcento Italian by blood. I am only saying what they call it from my mothers region. This may differ in other parts of Italy, as culture and class are all regional.

                                          2. Here's a link to our Italian easter bread.. http://www.recipezaar.com/Italian-Ani... It can be finicky with rising, so I am online looking for other variations. Never had luck making it in a bread machine, either.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: panthur

                                              Love this discussion. I made this bread with my father as a child but of course don't have the recipe. I've looked at the ones posted here as well as some others online. Some of the others I've found include candied fruit and almonds. Does anyone know why there are variations like this? Is the fruit and nuts more specific to a certain region? Anyone try both the fruit and nut and plain version? Which did you prefer? Thanks for any feedback you have!

                                            2. It is called Pupa Cu L'ova. My grandmother made one for each grandchild. She would roll the dough into a rope and run it around a flat piece of oval dough forming a basket. She would then put an egg in the basket and lay a piece of rope over the egg and attach both sides. After baking, she would brush the rim of the basket and handle with icing (powdered sugar and milk) and put sprinkles on the icing.

                                              1. http://siciliancookingplus.com/desser...
                                                (FYI: If you're interested, It also has lots of other Sicilian recipes.)

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: Phil Sidotti

                                                  Thanks, that fig cake will have to made sooner than later.

                                                2. Challah, Hallah, חלה
                                                  Yield: 2 loaves

                                                  Recipe from Secrets of a Jewish Baker by George Greenstein.


                                                  • 1 cup warm water (100° to 110° F)
                                                  • 2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
                                                  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
                                                  • 2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
                                                  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
                                                  • ¼ cup plus 1½ teaspoons sugar
                                                  • 4 cups bread flour (more as needed)
                                                  • 2 teaspoons salt
                                                  • - vegetable oil, for coating bowl
                                                  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water and a pinch of salt, for egg wash
                                                  • ¼ cup poppy or sesame seeds, for topping (optional)
                                                  • - cornmeal, for dusting baking pan


                                                  1. Dissolve yeast and 2 teaspoons sugar in 1 cup warm water in a small bowl.
                                                  2. Mix well and let stand in a warm place 10 minutes.
                                                  3. Add the proofed yeast to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook.
                                                  4. Combine the egg, egg yolks, oil, remaining sugar and the salt and add it to the yeast mixture.
                                                  5. Start mixer on the lowest speed.
                                                  6. Gradually add the flour one cup at a time until it lightly comes together, then increase the speed to low medium and beat until the mixture pulls away from the sides

                                                  Note: You can substitute all-purpose flour for bread flour, but the Challah will not be as light or tender.

                                                  7. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface; knead, adding more flour ¼ cup at a time if the dough is sticky or very soft.
                                                  8. Continue kneading the flour until dough is no longer sticky.
                                                  9. The dough should be firm.
                                                  10. Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic and the gluten is well developed (10 to 15 minutes).
                                                  Note: When you push down, the dough should feel firm and push back.

                                                  Method Rising:

                                                  1. Place dough in a well-greased bowl and turn it to oil all sides.
                                                  2. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, set in a warm (85°), draft-free place, and let rise, until tripled in volume (30 to 40 minutes).

                                                  Note: A closed unlit gas oven is an excellent draft-free place. The heat from the pilot provides adequate warmth for proper rising. With an electric oven, turn to 150° for about 3 minutes, then turn off the heat and open the door for 3 minutes. Place the bowl of dough in the oven and quickly close the door. This will give you an approximate temperature of 85°, just right for even and fairly quick rising.

                                                  3. When fully risen, an indentation made with a finger pushed down into the center of the dough should remain and not recede.
                                                  4. This is a fully aged, or ready, dough.
                                                  5. Punch down the dough, cut in half, cover, and allow to rise for 15 minutes.

                                                  Method Shaping:

                                                  1. Punch down again and, on a very lightly floured work surface, use your palms to roll the pieces into 2 ropes, at least 12 inches long.
                                                  2. Cut each into 6 equal pieces and braid or make up into a 6-section pan Challah.
                                                  3. Brush with the egg wash, using care to cover completely, but do not let excess egg drip into the crevices.

                                                  Note: If you are making the braided Challah, transfer the Challah to a cornmeal-dusted baking pan. For section Challah, place the loaves in 2 well-greased 8 or 9 inch loaf pans. Place in a warm, draft-free area, preferably enclosed, and allow to rise until doubled in size.

                                                  3. Sprinkle with poppy seeds or sesame seeds if desired.
                                                  Note: Before sprinkling with the seeds, allow the egg wash to air-dry, then brush with egg wash a second time. This will give the bread its characteristic shine.

                                                  Method Baking:

                                                  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
                                                  2. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven until the loaves have a rich mahogany color and emit a hollow sound when tapped lightly on the bottom with your fingertips (35 minutes).
                                                  3. If the top begins to brown excessively and the bottom is raw, cover the bread with a sheet of parchment paper or aluminum foil that has been creased down the center to form a tent.
                                                  4. If there is a white line visible between the braids, continue baking until it disappears.
                                                  5. To test for doneness, press lightly between the braids on the highest part of the bread; it should be firm or until the internal temperature reaches 190° to 200°.
                                                  6. If you feel the creases give when lightly pressed, continue baking until they firm up.
                                                  7. Let cool on a wire rack. Challah keeps very well for several days in a plastic bag in a breadbox.
                                                  8. It can be frozen; defrost slowly, preferably wrapped, overnight in the refrigerator.

                                                  Using a Food Processor with a Steel Blade in Place of an Electric Mixer

                                                  In the recipe above, instead of 1 cup warm water use:

                                                  • ¼ cup warm water
                                                  • ¾ cup ice water

                                                  1. In the work bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water and allow to stand for a few minutes to soften.
Add the ice water, egg, egg yolks, oil, sugar, 2 cups of the flour, and the salt; pulse to combine.
                                                  3. Add 2 more cups of flour 1 cup at a time.
                                                  4. More flour can be added 1/4 cup at a time if necessary.
                                                  5. The dough should be firm.
                                                  6. Pulse until the dough forms up into a ball, then continue pulsing for 2 to 3 minutes.
                                                  7. If the machine strains, divide the dough in half and process each half separately, then knead together by hand. If using a dough thermometer, keep the dough at 78°F to 82°F.
                                                  8. Do not over mix.
                                                  9. If necessary, knead by hand until the dough is smooth and elastic and the gluten is well developed.
                                                  10. When you push down, the dough should be firm and push back.
                                                  11. Knead together and shape into a ball.
                                                  12. Proceed as in Rising, Shaping, and Baking, above.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: speyerer

                                                    sending love to everyone in this thread :D

                                                    I felt like baking bread today, and thought I'd try a challah recipe from Jennie Grossinger's the Art of Jewish Cooking. While braiding it, I remembered my grandmother's Easter Egg Bread, so I shaped it in a ring and stuck an egg on the seam.

                                                    Every Easter, she made a basket with a colored egg for everyone in the family to take home. She glazed them with egg wash and colored sprinkles. I don't have any sprinkles in the house, so I sprinkled it with sesame seeds. Her recipe calls for milk and butter rather than water and vegetable oil in the Challah, but I still think she'd be pleased.

                                                    It's in the oven, and I did a search to find the Sicilian name and here it is! Thank you! Pupa cu l'ova
                                                    Happy Spring Y'all!

                                                  2. My father used to make an Easter bread that came from his Sicilian brother in law, whose mother originally made it. When she was very old, they sat with her as she made her dough, attempting to get an accurate measure of all that was in it. It is super rich with tons of eggs and butter, and my father would tell the story of how she had sent him a loaf when he was in the army. He hid it in his footlocker so no one would take it and eat it, and it was so rich that it would last over a month as he would surreptitiously go into the footlocker and cut off a piece to enjoy when no one was looking. We have made the bread, and it is really delicious. It has brandy or whiskey in it as well as cinnamon, and the smell that emanates when it is toasted is amazing. The recipe we have makes something like 12 loaves, so we have cut it way down to make one large braided loaf and several regular loaves. I'm wanting some right now!!

                                                    13 Replies
                                                    1. re: roxlet

                                                      Is there any possibility you're allowed to share the recipe? I lost my original recipe, as I said above, which I loved! but my husband's family didn't get the Greek twist to it. His grandmother pointedly said it didn't seem Italian. I would love to surprise them next year. And my Irish side likes the whiskey/brandy addition, I make some cookies that have that in it and they come out so delicate.

                                                      1. re: coll

                                                        coll, I would definitely share it, but I am in Egypt and the recipe is in NY. If you could leave yourself a note to email me in mid-late July when I am back home, I will copy it and share it with you. I fear I will never remember, but we have lots of time until next Easter!

                                                        1. re: roxlet

                                                          I'll put it on my calender, I guess you're not collecting too many "Egyptian" recipes yet? That'd be different for Halloween, I could dress as a mummy when I served it!

                                                          1. re: coll

                                                            Ha, ha. No, Egyptian food is not inspirational, to say the least. The ingredients that you get here -- like eggs, chickens, fruits and vegetables are pretty good, but I've yet to have much in the way f Egyptian food that has wowed me. I think I'm on the wrong side of the Mediterranean, to quote Lawrence Durrell!

                                                      2. re: roxlet

                                                        Roxlet, I have a pandoro mold I'm dying to use this Christmas -- is the "footlocker" bread that type of bread? And of course, do you still have the recipe, it sounds delicious.

                                                        1. re: blue room

                                                          Here is the recipe. I have always made it in loaves or braids, but I see no reason it wouldn't work in a pandoro mold. One thing though -- since this contains a fair amount of sugar, I would be prepared to cover the top after the bread has risen in the oven to prevent over-browning. I usually halve this recipe, and this year, I halved it and kept the yeast about the same, which resulted in a better, not so dense bread. Let me know how it turns out -- it is very delicious, and a real heritage recipe from the early-mid 1900s!

                                                          Easter Bread
                                                          Makes 4 loaves
                                                          Sift together:
                                                          10 cups of flour
                                                          2 cups of sugar
                                                          1 teaspoon of cinnamon
                                                          1 dozen large eggs
                                                          ½ cup of butter
                                                          scant ¼ cup Crisco
                                                          ¾ cup milk
                                                          scant ½ cup brandy or rye whiskey
                                                          ½ teaspoon salt
                                                          2 envelopes yeast (dissolve in small amount of lukewarm water. If available, use 1 ounce of fresh yeast)
                                                          1. Melt butter and Crisco in a pot with milk over low flame
                                                          2. Add to flour along with lightly beaten eggs, yeast mixture and brandy
                                                          3. Mix together and begin to knead. Knead until dough is smooth and slightly sticky. If it sticks to your hands too much, add additional flour as you knead.
                                                          4. Put the dough into a large greased pot, and put in a warm place to rise for 3 hours.
                                                          5. Cut into 4 parts, and braid or put into greased pans and let rise until the dough crests the pan. (I make 1 large braid with two parts, and loaves with the other two.)
                                                          6. Bake at 325 for about 50 minutes (NB Since this bread has a large amount of sugar, watch carefully so that it doesn’t get too dark or burn). Check for doneness by thumping the bottom or use an instant read thermometer. Temperature should be about 190 degrees.
                                                          7. As soon as the bread is out of the oven, brush with beaten egg.

                                                          1. re: roxlet

                                                            Thank you so much! I will use Cognac instead of brandy or rye because I like it in baked stuff, but will follow everything else.
                                                            *Do I understand correctly that you halved this recipe but still used 2 envelopes yeast, or 1 oz. fresh?*
                                                            I won't wait for Easter, and will let you know how it goes. Perfect excuse to finally buy instant read thermometer, thanks.

                                                            1. re: roxlet

                                                              Roxlet, if you're still out there, I baked two loaves last night--it's very nice! One in the pandoro mold, one in a regular loaf pan.

                                                              I *did* use 2 envelopes of yeast, but halved all the other ingredients -- it's very tender, just exactly sweet enough, and could be led in all different sorts of ways to become Christmas/Easter/breakfast/brunch etc. bread. Some of the other recipes in this thread used egg *yolks* only -- I was glad this called for whole eggs, for convenience sake. It's still a beautiful yellow color. I *did* loosely cover both loaves with foil when they were nice and tall and brown, glad you mentioned that -- they still had 15 minutes to go and easily could have over-browned.

                                                              Thank you!

                                                              1. re: blue room

                                                                I'm so happy you made this, blue room, and they look gorgeous. This was the recipe of my father's sister's MIL, and my father used to make it at Easter. My dad was a real Sad Sack in the Army in WWII, and he used to tell the story of how his sister's MIL would send him a loaf at Easter, and he would hide it in his footlocker, sneaking into the barracks when there was no one there, and cutting a piece to savor. He said it lasted a full month! Try it toasted -- the smell and the flavor are divine!

                                                                1. re: roxlet

                                                                  Just want to say that this bread is even better the next day -- markedly so --
                                                                  it's entirely possible that hoarding it in a footlocker is a good idea.

                                                          2. re: roxlet

                                                            That is a sweet story! This recipe sounds so close to the one my family has used. My grandmas and moms recipe is for huge amounts and the directions are very vague, as are the amounts....one glass of whiskey??
                                                            My sister and I have canabilized a few of the recipes from family members to try and come up with a recipes that tastes most like my moms. Do you have a clear recipe you would be willing to share?

                                                          3. Here is our family recipe on my website. One page has photos of the process and another has the recipe. Hope this helps. I replied to this earlier, but I think it was to the wrong thread. Sorry, hope this helps. http://www.psidotti.com/psidotti.com/...

                                                            1. Hi Winebard... this is a family tradition and it is called pane di pasqua and mamma also added the egg and criss crossed the dough. Here is her recipe and mangia

                                                              7 Eggs (whisk)
                                                              7 teaspoons Baking powder
                                                              3 cups sugar
                                                              Flour (approx 5 cups)
                                                              2 cups vegetable oil
                                                              1 cup milk
                                                              8 ml Salt or 1/2 tbsp
                                                              6 eggs (for decorative purposes, twist dough over raw egg)


                                                              1. Beat the 7 eggs well with whisk.
                                                              2. Add 3 cups sugar, add 2 cups of vegetable oil, 8 ml salt or little more than 1/2 tbsp salt, 1 cup milk. Whisk well to add more air.
                                                              3. Add flour to make a dough consistency (approx 5 cups) and add 7 teaspoon baking powder.
                                                              4. Roll and twist the dough in strips, add decorative egg (raw, shell still intact of course), shape as per above image. Use thinner strip of dough to wrap the egg on the top or for the last layer.

                                                              Bake at 300 deg F. for about 35 minutes.

                                                              Her website is http://www.mammamiarecipes.com and all recipes are free her gift to her readers

                                                              1. It's PUPA CON L'ouvo
                                                                literal translastion: doll with egg (l'ouvo means egg)

                                                                I suppose if you say it really fast it can sound, as the others described: Booba Glove (lmbo)

                                                                In Italy they used to make the bread in shapes. They made "dolls" for the girls.
                                                                Pupa means doll in Italian.

                                                                hence Pupa con L'ouvo

                                                                hope that helps! Happy Easter :)

                                                                6 Replies
                                                                1. re: 1stGenAmerican

                                                                  pupa does not mean doll in Italian; in Italian the word for doll is bambola. in Sicilian pupa means doll but that word is a remnant of the french invasion.

                                                                      1. re: coll

                                                                        in sicilian, I just remembered it is cu instead of con as they use a lot of u endings; I said to my wife when we were in sicily how do they play scrabble without a thousand u's. bella in Italian is bedu, and so on and so forth. beautiful island is sicily. lovely people who were delighted that I had learned sicilian for the trip.

                                                                      2. re: tytyvyllus

                                                                        From Wordreference.com:

                                                                        pupa nf scherzoso o volgare (bambola, ragazza) familiar doll, babe, chick n

                                                                        There is also

                                                                        pupazzo nm (bambolotto) doll n

                                                                    1. Here's my recipe for Italian Easter Bread

                                                                      Makes 4 loaves
                                                                      Sift together:
                                                                      10 cups of flour
                                                                      2 cups of sugar
                                                                      1 teaspoon of cinnamon
                                                                      1 dozen large eggs
                                                                      ½ cup of butter
                                                                      scant ¼ cup Crisco
                                                                      ¾ cup milk
                                                                      scant ½ cup brandy or rye whiskey
                                                                      ½ teaspoon salt
                                                                      2 envelopes yeast (dissolve in small amount of lukewarm water. If available, use 1 ounce of fresh yeast)
                                                                      1. Melt butter and Crisco in a pot with milk over low flame
                                                                      2. Add to flour along with lightly beaten eggs, yeast mixture and brandy
                                                                      3. Mix together and begin to knead. Knead until dough is smooth and slightly sticky. If it sticks to your hands too much, add additional flour as you knead.
                                                                      4. Put the dough into a large greased pot, and put in a warm place to rise for 3 hours.
                                                                      5. Cut into 4 parts, and braid or put into greased pans and let rise until the dough crests the pan. (I make 1 large braid with two parts, and loaves with the other two.)
                                                                      6. Bake at 325 for about 50 minutes (NB Since this bread has a large amount of sugar, watch carefully so that it doesn’t get too dark or burn). Check for doneness by thumping the bottom or use an instant read thermometer. Temperature should be about 190 degrees.
                                                                      7. As soon as the bread is out of the oven, brush with beaten egg.

                                                                      16 Replies
                                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                                        Just in time! I'm definitely making this this year, now that things have calmed down around here. Actually want to get back into yeast breads in general, and this is as good place to start as any.

                                                                        1. re: coll

                                                                          It's so delicious, I have to give most of it away!

                                                                          1. re: roxlet

                                                                            I just said to my husband, if we don't have anyone over on Easter, maybe I'll just make the pizza rustica with grain pie for dessert, and this bread for breakfast. Heavy on the carbs but hey, it's a holiday!

                                                                            1. re: coll

                                                                              The aroma of the bread when it's toasted is divine.

                                                                                1. re: coll

                                                                                  I saw these old threads popup again coll. I was going to post my moms recipe, and she recently died. So this year too I will post. Whats odd is I don't see people posting the Anise ingredient as I would have expected. This is truly a Anise Bread. with the egg cradled in the middle. The cross, and cradle signify the baby Jesus in the bread, and its customary for many Italians to make. I just returned from Italy again to visit some family after mom past away. So in the tradition of mom this year I will do it too. I truly miss the smell of it baking all day in the oven. And mom always made so much, all the neighbors got a big piece sent home. She always said "L'amore viene dalla carità" And that we do the same always.

                                                                                  1. re: Chipmaster86

                                                                                    So sorry about your Mom, one of my hopes after I'm gone is that people will remember me through my recipes. I will write "L'amore viene dalla carita" on the recipe when I file it. I always cook with sharing in mind. Or else I'd weigh 1,000 lbs.

                                                                                    My recipe was also heavy on anise. I actually think it may have been a Greek recipe for some reason, I found it in a magazine in the 70s trying to impress my in-laws to be. But they were Italian, and acted like it was weird in some way, not rude but.....it did taste very good. At some point, I even bought a jar of anise extract, before I realized I lost that recipe. This Easter will be a rebirth for me, in more ways than one. Time to celebrate life.

                                                                                    1. re: coll

                                                                                      We did not use anise in our Easter bread, as evidenced by the recipe. This recipe was from my father's sister's mother in law, and she was born somewhere about 1900, so it's a pretty old, traditional recipe. She was Sicilian, if that's any help. We rarely used anise in my house, and fennel was served raw as part of a relish tray.

                                                                                      1. re: roxlet

                                                                                        I'm using your recipe, and will try not to add too many flavors. Maybe that's why my grandmother in law looked weird when she tasted mine, now that you mention it. It had orange peel, and candied fruit and I don't remember what else. They WERE big on finnochio, and anisette after a meal at least. She was from Abruzzi, I should have known better.

                                                                                        1. re: coll

                                                                                          My Italian grandmother made an Easter bread that was called (and it sounded like) umbeem, not sure of the spelling. My grandparents immigrated from San Donato in Frosinone and I have been trying to find this recipe without luck. I am not sure if this is just a regional name for the bread with anise and eggs.

                                                                                          1. re: redheadedjen

                                                                                            My grandmother was from Pontecorvo in Frosinone. she came to the US in 1905. Here is her personal recipe.
                                                                                            She would make small loaves in the shape of chickens (with an egg in the belly of the hen and a raisin for an eye) for all her grandchildren. After she passed my mother carried on the tradition but would make bunnies and put an egg in for the tail. Sadly I'm still waiting for grandchildren to carry on the tradition so I just make a large braided ring for the family

                                                                                            1/2 cup water
                                                                                            4 eggs
                                                                                            1/2 cup oil
                                                                                            4 - 4 1/2 cups flour
                                                                                            3/4 cup sugar
                                                                                            1 teaspoon anise seed
                                                                                            1 pkg yeast

                                                                                            Dissolve yeast in water
                                                                                            In bowl beat eggs, adding sugar, oil and anise seed
                                                                                            Add yeast and enough flour to make a workable dough
                                                                                            Let it rise until doubled
                                                                                            Knead the dough.
                                                                                            Shape into a braid or a ring or chickens, dolls or bunnies
                                                                                            Bake at 325 degrees for 15-20 minutes
                                                                                            Cover with icing and sprinkles when cooled.

                                                                                            1. re: Mvrxbzd

                                                                                              THANK YOU, my grandmother came to America in 1888 from the Tuscan region, and this is just like her recipe except the flavoring was almond. I am going to try this recipe cause I liked the anise biscotti I had while visiting Sicily.

                                                                                              buona pasqua,

                                                                                              1. re: Mvrxbzd

                                                                                                Thank you. My grandmother came over after World War II and my grandfather, also from San Donato, came over before World War II and lived in Boston. I am trying to connect with my Italian side.

                                                                                                1. re: Mvrxbzd

                                                                                                  I suspect what you think is a chicken is really a 'colomba', a dove, which is the more traditional shape for Easter. But I may be mistaken.

                                                                                                  1. re: pdxgastro

                                                                                                    I never said anything about a chicken. I said that my ex wife's family called their easter bread colomba pasquale; happy easter.

                                                                                                    1. re: tytyvyllus

                                                                                                      Look to the far right of my logon name when I post. It said

                                                                                                      re: Mvrxbzd

                                                                          2. they are called pupa con l'ova or doll with egg. pupa is a remnant of the french invasion of southern Italy the french would spell it poupee.

                                                                            1. My grandmother used to make this into baskets for us kids and c rosses with the colored egg in the middle for the adults. They were beautiful. We're going to try making these today with the kids - grandmother has been gone for a long time, so has my mom, so I was thrilled to find this post. Thank you.

                                                                              12 Replies
                                                                              1. re: Giteacher2

                                                                                Making Easter Bread - Easter Bread Recipe from our family in Sicily!
                                                                                We also make some with the colored hardboiled Easter eggs...small single ones and also a larger round "crown of thorns" one with five eggs.
                                                                                5 pounds flour sifted
                                                                                1 1/2 cups Crisco melted
                                                                                3 cups sugar
                                                                                12 eggs (reserve 6 egg whites for glaze)
                                                                                6 packages dry yeast
                                                                                1 teaspoon salt
                                                                                1 quart milk
                                                                                6 teaspoons baking powder
                                                                                1 ounce anise seed or to taste
                                                                                Toasted sesame seeds


                                                                                Scald milk. Set aside to cool and add sugar. Add melted Crisco, reserving enough Crisco for final kneading--set aside. Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup of warm milk. Sprinkle with a teaspoon of sugar and set aside to proof. Beat eggs thoroughly. Mix flour and salt and baking powder in a large pan. Make a well in center -- add cooled milk mixture. Add eggs and yeast. Incorporate flour gradually until liquid is absorbed and knead until smooth - About 10 minutes. Place in a large greased pan - cover with waxed paper and put in a warm place to rise - About 4 - 5 hours - until doubled in size. Punch down and cover again and let rise until doubled in size again. Punch down and let rest while greasing cookie sheets. Roll dough into braids or other shapes, cover and let rise again briefly - on baking trays. Bake on greased cookie sheets - 375 degrees for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool and brush with beaten egg white and return to oven for about 5 - 10 minutes. Makes 100 biscuits.

                                                                                1. re: Phil Sidotti

                                                                                  are the eggs dyed red for the crown of thorns?


                                                                                    1. re: Phil Sidotti

                                                                                      Ew seriously? How macabre. I thought it was to bring Spring colors into the mix.

                                                                                    2. re: tytyvyllus

                                                                                      Here are some photos of the process...these were taken in 2008...dad was 95 at the time. He passed away in 2010 at age 97 but we continue the tradition

                                                                                        1. re: Phil Sidotti

                                                                                          What a lovely way to honour your Dad.

                                                                                        1. re: roxlet

                                                                                          Yes, but it's a large recipe and yields 100-120 small to medium sized biscuits. If you make a few of the large circular ones (like a crown of thorns - with 3 or 5 red hardboiled eggs symbolizing blood droplets) you'll obviously yield less.

                                                                                          1. re: Phil Sidotti

                                                                                            I took three recipes, which all made different amounts of loaves. I only wanted one, sadly, no need for more. All along the way, I thought I messed up (too much milk, too little flour, didn't rise enough) but at the end it is so delicious that I can't stop tasting it. I rarely eat bread anymore but this is so delicious. Thanks to all who gave up their family recipes, I will think of you every year when I make this.

                                                                                            1. re: coll

                                                                                              How did you get the color on your eggs to stay on?! Maybe we used cheap Paas dye, but it always ran when we baked our pigna. Looks great!

                                                                                              1. re: pdxgastro

                                                                                                It does leak onto the bread a little, so I cut around the eggs so no one sees, and save that for myself. It doesn't run exactly, just a little stain right under the egg which you don't see until you remove the egg. I always use McCormicks, but maybe you could try the natural way using onion skin? I think I'm sticking with the bright colors for now though!

                                                                                                Not sure but doesn't look like I posted the picture from last year? I'll do again so you can see. It's on the bottom of the thread, could have sworn I put it on last year.......

                                                                                    3. i wish i had the recipe but my grandma would make easter bread in a coffee can. it was so good....

                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: BobbiD

                                                                                        I don't have my husbands grandmother's recipe (she probably never even wrote it down) but I have started making it again the last few years. I found a good recipe right here on this thread and will be making one for the third time next week to take to friends, people seem to like it fine. No coffee can, and it involves yeast, but give it a try. It's basically roxlets, with a few twists from other posters because I can never leave well enough alone!

                                                                                        1. re: coll

                                                                                          Thanks!! i am hoping to find time to try

                                                                                      2. It seems there are so many names for the Easter Bread. My called in Pina Bread, Some call it Pane con L'Ouvo. And recently my friend wrote me from Campagnia region of Italy, and there they call if "Sweet Castiello". And even more at this link may help with names and recipes. http://www.damgas.altervista.org/blog...

                                                                                        1. Thanks Coll! I noticed actually one thing about this bread. It seems to have a different name, and variations oft he recipe, depending on the region your family comes from. Mine is all Tuscan. Yet my best friend is more Napolitano, and Campagnia more in the south. My mom called it Pina Bread. N pronounced like spanish n(y). My keyboard won't let me type the real letter. And in Campagnia region they call it that Dolce Casatiello name. Some here I see call if with the uovo(egg) word. Like in the USA too where we have northern and southern dishes of the same thing, we just call differently. One thing I do remember, was the zest of lemon and orange always used by my mom. Same with the zest of lemon used for the lasagna she made before she died last year. So this recipe does seem very close to my moms. Use Google Chrome to translate on the fly. http://www.damgas.altervista.org/blog...

                                                                                          12 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: Chipmaster86

                                                                                            Wonder what it is called in Abruzzi? The one I made for my grandmother in law sounds like Sicilian origin, or I think it might have been Greek? No wonder she gave me the malocchio when I handed it to her. Not that it matters, I now call it Pinza Easter Bread (actually very close to my husband's family surname). I am making it again this week for a friend's family Easter Egg party...they are Irish so pretty sure mine will be the only one. I also have written on the recipe card "l'amore viene dalla carita" just as I told you I would. Your Mom will be remembered by me for as long as I'm baking!

                                                                                            My ingredients follow yours, except I also added some rum soaked raisins (the Irish in me I guess), zest of lemon or orange and also a drop of cinnamon oil in addition to the anise extract. Mine came out so pretty last year because I dyed the eggs red, pink, purple and green...this year I am contemplating doing a natural red coloring using onion skins, but I just looked at the picture I took last year and am tempted to do the McCormick dyes again. So what if they stain the bread a bit!

                                                                                            1. re: coll

                                                                                              columba pasquale is what my ex wife's family called them and they were from abruzzi; columba means dove and they were shaped like doves

                                                                                              1. re: tytyvyllus

                                                                                                So my ancient mystery is finally being solved for me; thank you so much for the info. I actually think I remember something about doves now that you mention it, but it being the days before internet research, I made the braid with the eggs, which was probably the first recipe I found. And I don't think hers was so highly flavored, maybe just plain sweetened yeast bread? Ah well, I like this new version best but at least I have a story to go with it now!!

                                                                                                1. re: coll

                                                                                                  Mangia Bene Pasta
                                                                                                  Colomba di Pasqua (made with baking powder)
                                                                                                  (Makes 2 loaves)

                                                                                                  6-7 cups all-purpose flour
                                                                                                  1-1/4 cups sugar
                                                                                                  1 tablespoon baking powder
                                                                                                  1 teaspoon salt
                                                                                                  5 large eggs, divided
                                                                                                  4 ounces unsalted butter, melted
                                                                                                  1-1/4 cups milk
                                                                                                  1 tablespoon vanilla
                                                                                                  2 hard-boiled eggs
                                                                                                  2 dark raisins
                                                                                                  Colored sprinkles

                                                                                                  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two baking sheets.
                                                                                                  From a piece of paper, cut out a dove shape pattern that is 12-inches long from beak to tail and 7-inches wide.

                                                                                                  Combine 6 cups of flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
                                                                                                  In another bowl, add 4 eggs, butter, milk and vanilla. Beat until well blended.
                                                                                                  Add the liquid mixture to the dry ingredients and mix with your hands to form a dough.
                                                                                                  The dough should not be sticky. If it is, add a little more flour.
                                                                                                  Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead it until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes.
                                                                                                  Divide the dough into two pieces.

                                                                                                  Roll each piece of dough into a 13-inch by 10-inch rectangle.
                                                                                                  Place the dove-shaped pattern on each piece of dough and cut around it. Remove scraps of dough.
                                                                                                  Using scissors, make cuts in the tail to resemble feathers and one cut in the beak area.
                                                                                                  Push one raisin in each dove for an eye.

                                                                                                  In a small bowl, lightly beat the remaining egg and brush it lightly over each loaf.
                                                                                                  Place 1 hard- boiled egg in the middle of each dove body.
                                                                                                  Cut 2 thin strips 4-inches long from dough scraps. Cross 2 over each egg.
                                                                                                  In a small bowl, lightly beat the remaining egg and brush it lightly over each loaf.
                                                                                                  Sprinkle the loaves with the colored sprinkles.
                                                                                                  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the loaves are lightly browned and firm to the touch.
                                                                                                  Remove to cooling racks.

                                                                                                  I think I also saw a yeast recipe; do you wish to have it,

                                                                                                  1. re: coll


                                                                                                    this is where I got the recipe and the site also shows photos of the 'doves'

                                                                                                    I am going to try these myself as I remember my mother in law making them.
                                                                                                    good luck,

                                                                                                2. re: coll

                                                                                                  We're from Molise, the region to the south of Abruzzo and we call it 'pigna' so maybe they do in Abruzzo too?

                                                                                                  1. re: pdxgastro

                                                                                                    Probably, seems a lot of Italian food items are spelled phonetically over here! I asked my SIL yesterday if her grandmother made the bread in the shape of a bird and she said no, it was just round. But then she said maybe, sort of. I'll just keep making it braided with eggs I guess, and call it Easter bread, it tastes good no matter what the name is!

                                                                                                    1. re: coll

                                                                                                      of course it tastes good, I just like the different shapes and how many appear to be regionally inspired. thanks

                                                                                                  2. re: coll

                                                                                                    Pizza di Pasqua


                                                                                                    My family is also from the Abruzzi region - how fun to find a little group of others on here. Our biggest family cooking tradition is cheeseballs (cacio e uovo) which we always make with a big noisy group of aunts and cousins. I'm tempted to try this bread now.

                                                                                                    1. re: NonnieMuss

                                                                                                      how nice for you all; buona pasqua a tutti.

                                                                                                    2. re: Chipmaster86

                                                                                                      alt + number pad 164 = ñ
                                                                                                      165 = Ñ

                                                                                                      but in Italian the tilde sound is made by a g before the n
                                                                                                      Pigna pane.

                                                                                                    3. Here is how my bread came out, first try last year. Thanks everyone, on to year two of a renewed tradition.

                                                                                                      1. My Mother's parents were from San Donato, in southern Lazio, near Abruzzo and it was pronounced "umbeam" I am positive that is not how it was spelled but it looked like the picture below.

                                                                                                        1. here's mine... can't wait to make it on saturday.

                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                          1. I'm getting such a kick out of all of these conversations. A couple of years ago, I posed the question: Does anyone know the proper pronunciation/spelling for the traditional Italian Easter Bread that sounds like (this is how we heard it as children) "kadoodle calow."? As a result, over the years since posting the question, I've seen so many variations on the name, the recipe, and the lovely stories of this tradition handed down for generations. I'm collecting the various recipes I see in these posts with the hope that I can try a good number of them.

                                                                                                            Thank you all and keep posting!!!

                                                                                                            1. My maternal grandmother is full-blooded Slovenian, and her mother made an Easter bread very similar to the ones in this thread. She was from Ajdovscina, in western Slovenia near Gorizia and Trieste.

                                                                                                              The family recipe passed down to me is called Meniha (muh-NEE-hah), or "monk". Most of the recipes I've ever seen online for it describe the braiding process as similar to what I'm picturing for the Pupa con l'Ouvo: a simple braid or twist with an egg for the monk's head. But the picture below is the way it's always been done in my family, and it's one of my favorite traditions.

                                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                              1. re: smingster

                                                                                                                Holy shit, that's gorgeous! The braiding adds a lovely texture to the form.

                                                                                                                    1. re: smingster

                                                                                                                      Very artisanal and no doubt delicious as well. I wish I could find a breadmaker like your grandmother and learn bread baking techniques.

                                                                                                                    2. I'm not Italian but a local school submitted an article last year and again this year about making this bread and they call it Sguetti (though I can't find any confirmation of this online the community has a large Italian-Canadian population so I'm guessing they know what they are talking about lol) see the article at www.OntarioNewsNorth.com/?p=47301

                                                                                                                      1 Reply