Tortano Bread Easter Recipe (Casatiello)

How to prepare Tortano bread, also known as Casatiello at home?

Tortano bread. A Neapolitan recipe for Easter time

Tortano bread, also called Casatiello, is a typical rustic Neapolitan pie, perhaps the most famous country as it prepares to Naples during Easter. Although the names casatiello and tortano are often used interchangeably, they differ in the way in which the eggs are used in the preparation. In the first eggs are made ​​whole and raw and partially protruding and visible on the country, in tortano instead, the eggs are placed boiled cut into pieces and put in the dough. Tortano is Easter recipe and retains the symbols: salami, cheese and eggs laid by the crosses of pasta. This rustic Neapolitan is great either hot or cold, especially foods such as breakfast box for trips on the day of Easter. Tradition has it that is prepared on Friday evening, the yeast whole night of Good Friday and then be fired the next morning.

This is the recipe that I use and I want to share with wishing an Happy Easter to all.

Ingredients for a mold 32 cm:

  • 1 kg flour
  • 500 ml water
  • 25 g yeast
  • 250 g lard
  • 400 g between salami, ham and bacon.
  • 400 g cheese (not soft cheese) examples: cheddar, provolone or gouda cheese.
  • 100 g pecorino cheese
  • 4 eggs
  • pinch of salt
  • pepper
  • Prep Time: 50 min
  • Cooking time: 1 hour at 160 °
  • Rising time: 1 hour 50 minutes + 3 hours = 4 hour and 50 minutes. 

Preparation of tortano bread:

  • Place the flour on a pastry board.
  • Dissolve yeast in warm water and add it slowly to the flour
  • Tip: if you don’t have fresh yeast, you can use the dried one.
  • Knead the mixture. You have to absorb the water with the flour.
  • Gradually, add the lard. Keep kneading until the lard has been absorbed by the dough. Tip: keep aside some lard to butter a mould.
  • Add salt and a good pinch of pepper.
  • Knead the dough energetically and gradually for 10 minutes, then add the pecorino cheese.
  • Form a ball with the dough, place it on a board and let the dough rise for about 1 hour and 50 minutes. 
  • Roll out the dough on floured surface with a thickness of about 1 cm. (Leave aside some dough for  making the strips)
  • Arrange over the entire surface of the dough the filling of cubes cheese, ham and salami.
  •  Roll out the dough and close it tightly. Its shape should be similar to a long sausage stuffed.
  • Grease the mold casatiello with plenty of lard, place the roll of dough into a large round pan and join the ends well.
  • Make some holes at regular intervals and arrange inside the washed eggs (not cooked). Be careful not to break them.
  • Stop the eggs with the strips of dough, kept apart.
  • Brush the tortano bread with lard over its entire surface and let it rise 3 hours in a warm place covered with a kitchen towel.
  • After 3 hour, bake the tortano bread in a preheated oven at 160 °.
  • Let the tortano bread to cool down, then cut into slices and serve as main course or bread.

Inside of a Tortano bread

  • Tip: My mould isn’t big enough to keep all the tortano bread. I resolved this issue cutting a piece off. I baked it using a small dish. as showed in the photo below. This is not the traditional shape of a tortano bread.
  • When it is cooked, here how the inside of the tortano break should look like:

Tortano bread cut in a half

Happy Easter in the name of the Neapolitan tradition

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