"Ciaccia di Pasqua"
Traditional Easter cheese bread

Società agricola La Sovana Snc

Easter is one of Italy’s favourite holidays as it coincides with the first days of spring and warmer weather (hopefully).
While Easter is a time for family to come together, there is also an Italian saying that says, ‘Natale con i tuoi, Pasqua con chi vuoi’ which translates as, ‘Christmas with your relatives, Easter with whomever you want’. So many people go ‘fuori porta’ (literally go outside the walls, or get out of town) and head to the coast to take advantage of the long weekend. There is no Easter Bunny in Italy but still, most children (and not only children!) enjoy receiving large chocolate eggs with a surprise, like small toys, inside.

Easter as family festivity, all the family members gathers around the table to celebrate with a huge amount of traditional and delicious dishes.
There are dishes that warm up our heart and soul and for me one of these dishes is Italian Easter cheese bread – “Torta al formaggio”. This leavened savoury bread/cake is traditionally baked during the Easter period in central Italy.

Traditionally in Tuscany, “Ciaccia di pasqua” is served at Easter breakfast pairing it with another classic: Lombino Toscano, a typical cured meat served also for this festivity. It is also served as a starter during Easter lunch or during the pasquetta picnic (Easter Monday)

On Easter Sunday it is a tradition to start with a good salty and sweet breakfast, something rare in this country where the typical breakfast is only coffee and some baking good. Easter Sunday is also when people take their eggs to church to be blessed – raw, hard-boiled or even chocolate. The eggs are then taken home and eaten.
That morning it is common to find on the table sweet and savoury dishes such a cakes, casatiello, colomba (sweet bread), cheese, cured meat, pastiera etc etc . Depending on the region, every home has its preferences and customs.

Our Chef Giovannella is from Umbria, and here the Easter cheese bread is called "Torta Pasquale". In Giovannella’s family is common to fill the Torta with creamy cheese and herbs, cured meat, boiled eggs. The Umbrian Torta differs from the Tuscan Ciaccia due to the greater quantity of pepper and the absence of saffron. Tuscan Ciaccia has a characteristic yellow colour.
The recipe below is the "modern" version of the traditional Easter cheese bread-Torta; in the past were used local cheeses , such as fresh and aged pecorino; now are preferred flavourful cheeses like Parmesan, Emmentaler, Gruyere and Pecorino Romano.

Ingredients doses for a 20 cm springform pan:

• 5 medium eggs
• 500 g of flour
• 120 g of grated Parmigiano Reggiano
• 80 g of grated Pecorino Romano cheese
• 100gr of cubes Groyer / Emmentaler
• 50 g of brewer’s yeast
• 100 ml of milk
• 100 ml of extra virgin olive oil
• Plenty of ground black pepper
• About 15 g of fine salt


Spray one large, or two small soufflé dishes with butter, the soufflé dish need to be a minimum of 10cm of height.
Giovannella tips: in you cannot find a soufflé dish, use a strip of parchment paper, and line the top of the dish to add an additional 2-3 cm of height.

Add the yeast to the warm milk in a bowl and mix, and let sit 5 minutes until bubbly.
In another bowl, beat first the eggs, then add the olive oil, salt, pepper, and grated cheese.
Add the yeast mixture to the egg mixture and stir until combined. Add half the flour and stir.
Continue to add flour one cup at a time until you create firm dough that is not too sticky.
Dump the dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knead by h and, folding in the diced cheese as you work the dough.
Knead for about 5 minutes or until the cheese has been incorporated into the dough, and the dough is smooth.
Lightly oil a large bowl with olive oil and let the dough rise until doubled, covered, in a warm spot.
Punch down the dough and form it into a ball and place it into the prepared soufflé dish.
Preheat oven to 180 °C degrees F. Cover the bread with a kitchen towel and let it rise for about 30/45 minutes.
When the dough has doubled its let it cooks for 45 minutes. At the end of this time, lower the temperature to 150° C and let it continue cooking for another 15 minutes. Leave to cool in the oven with the door slightly open

Taste Ciaccia di Pasqua with our Coreno Orcia DOC white. Best Pairing!

Coreno 2019

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