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Apr 1, 2010 04:48 PM

Easter Italian Sweet Bread PINA

I read many receipts yesterday Wed 3/31/10 and none called for Jam. My dear Mom passed away last month 3/2/10 after 3 years living with my husband and myself. When she was able she would Bake with me and teach her methods on Baking Italian goodies. I would be happy to share this Sweet Bread (more like a cake) if any one is interested. I have one cooling now before I do the finishing touches. I will send a picture later. Maureen

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  1. Yes Maureen I would love your recipe. I can never get the yeast to raise. don't know what I am doing wrong.

    4 Replies
    1. re: DianneNJ

      Hi Dianne. There are several reasons why yeast won't rise. One is that it is too old. If the date on the package is well in the past, that may be why you are having problems. Another problem can occur when a recipe tells you to put the yeast in warm water (or perhaps warm milk) to let it dissolve and proof. If the liquid is too hot (over about 105F or maybe 110F) it will kill the yeast. A third possible problem is too much salt in the dough. Salt slows yeast down so the dough rises very slowly if at all. Finally, if your kitchen is very cold, as it can be in winter months, your dough will be fine but take longer to rise. A lot of the recipes that I use tend to assume my kitchen is in the 70s but in the winter it is a lot cooler than that! I hope this helps.

      1. re: PinchOfSalt

        Thanks for your help. We just bought the yeast , so that problem is eliminated. We tried lukewarm water, but I don't know what 105 degree temperature actually is. Is it warm or on the warm-to-hot side ? The instructions said to put a pinch of sugar in with the yeast so thats what we did. I would say that our kitchen was around 69 degrees or so. We kept it over the dishwasher. and someone ran the dishwasher, maybe it got warm over the dishwasher. But the pot the dough was in to rise was still cool. My niece said to put the dough in a large metal pot, so thats what we did. But my Mom used to always keep the dough to rise in a ceramic bowl. could that be it ? the Ssteel pot ? Its always so hard to get it just right ! thanks Dianne

        1. re: DianneNJ

          I usually use a big 2-quart plastic container with a lid. Sometimes I use a glass bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. I don't think what the container is made of is important. The pot should work fine.

          105F is a little warm. Remember, your body temperature is 97F, although that is inside (like in your mouth), not your skin. In my house the hot water heater is set to 125F, so hot tap water would definitely be too hot for the yeast. If you do not have an instant read thermometer, I recommend that you get one. It is so useful and inexpensive. Not only can you make sure that your water is not too hot, but you can also check the temperature of your bread to make sure it is done. (And that is just what you can do with a thermometer when baking bread.)

          1. re: PinchOfSalt

            I am new to CHOW. Thank you very much. I will invest in the Instant Read thermometer.

    2. My condolences, what a wonderful memory you will carry with you forever.

      Please share the recipe

      1. I would love to have a copy of the recipe for the Pina bread. My niece, nephew and I have looked everywhere in the old recipes and could not find the recipe.
        We also had a few deaths and no one had this recipe.