Usually, festive bakes are of the sweet variety. But once in a while there are some unique breads that are quite the opposite and I am extremely happy to have come across a few of them over time. Last year I posted another Italian Easter bread recipe. It was casatiello. A Neapolitan savoury Easter cake layered with meat and cheese and topped with whole eggs!
It was by far the most unique festive bread I had ever seen.
This year I came across pizza al formaggio. It is a cheesy Easter bread/cake. And the idea is that it should be eaten with cured meats, cheeses, and olive, etc. So, the final flavours kind of match the casatiello, but they are of course very different breads both great in their own right.
Pizza al formaggio is by far the simplest Easter recipe. Even if you have never made bread, you will be able to make this.
This bread will fit well into a 7.5in (19cm) round cake tin. You can use a smaller diameter one to make a taller loaf. Or you could bake it in a 1.5lb (680g) loaf tin.
Watch the video down below for detailed instructions.
For the dough –
300g (10.6oz) white bread flour
150g (5.3oz) egg (3 medium sized eggs)
30g (1oz) extra virgin olive oil
150g (5.3oz) finely grated pecorino cheese
3g (0.1oz) instant dry yeast or 3.6g (0.12oz) active dry yeast or 9g (0.31oz) fresh yeast
30g (1oz) milk
3g (0.1oz) ground black pepper
To glaze –
1 egg yolk mixed with a teaspoon of milk
- Grease the baking tin with butter. This will prevent the bread from sticking.
- In a large bowl combine the eggs, milk, olive oil, yeast, black pepper. Whisk well.
- Add the grated cheese and mix. Add the flour and mix again. Finish by kneading for a while by hand to bring all the ingredients together. *Desired dough temperature 24C (75F). Mine came out a bit cooler, so I just fermented it for longer.
- Cover and ferment until almost doubled in size. It took me 4 hours, but if your final dough temperature is correct, then it may take just 3 hours. *During the final hour of fermentation preheat the oven to 160C (320F) fan on.
- Brush the loaf with the egg yolk and milk glaze. Be careful if you are using a tin with a removable bottom as the egg may leak out. Place the tin on a tray to prevent making a mess.
- Bake the bread for 40 minutes.
Leave to cool down and enjoy with your favourite cold cuts and cheeses.
Keep in mind that the conditions in each kitchen are different, so fermentation times may vary for you. It is up to the baker to control the bread and react accordingly.
Your oven may be different too, so your baking time may vary.
Watch the video here